Mainz match Bundesliga record with 7th win
AFP · 2 Oct 2010, 19:32
Published: 02 Oct 2010 19:32 GMT+02:00
Dark-horses Mainz are only the third side after Kaiserslautern and Bayern Munich to have won all seven matches at the start of the season, and their young guns ran riot at home to Hoffenheim.
Coach Thomas Tuchel can scarcely believe his luck as his inexperienced side are growing in confidence with every game, especially after winning 2-1 at defending champions Bayern Munich last weekend.
They host Hamburg in their next league game on October 16 for their chance to make Bundesliga history with an eighth win, but Tuchel said he was not interested in records.
"During the game, I didn't even think about records, for me it is not even an issue," he said. "In the first half, we were lacking in confidence and even the early goal gave us no security."
"Hoffenheim gave us big problems, but after the break we were better and always threatened their goal."
Both teenage striker Andre Schürrle, 19, and midfielder Lewis Holtby, 20, have produced performances to take them to the verge of the national side, according to Germany coach Joachim Löw, and the pair scored in the rout.
Löw singled out Holtby for special praise after his defence-splitting pass set up the opening goal.
"His pass was worth the entrance fee alone," said the impressed national coach.
Mainz began both halves in style with a first-half goal by Tunisia striker Sami Allagui after just two minutes, while Hungary striker Adam Szalai scored their second right at the start of the first half.
Hoffenheim striker Demba Ba had put his side level just before the half-time break while Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson came off the bench to smash in a free-kick just a minute later to make it 3-2 with 64 minutes played.
But the second half belonged to Mainz as Holtby, who had been a constant threat all afternoon, scored from the right wing as his shot clipped Hoffenheim's Luiz Gustavo on 59 minutes.
Mainz then claimed the golden 21 points from seven games when Holtby was hauled down in the area by Hoffenheim's Josip Simunic on 73 minutes.
Simunic was shown a straight red card and Schürrle netted his fourth goal of the season to seal the win.
Freiburg are up to fourth in the table after their 3-2 win over Cologne on Saturday and Hamburg are seventh after they came from behind to beat Kaiserslautern 2-1.
Schalke's dreadful start to the season continued at Nuremberg as they suffered their fifth defeat when they went down 2-1 to stay second from bottom.
Ex-England manager Steve McClaren was denied his fourth straight win when his side were held 1-1 by Mönchengladbach.
On Sunday, second-placed Dortmund need to beat Bayern Munich at home if they want to close the six-point gap behind Mainz, and Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund have racked up five consecutive wins in the German league.
But Louis van Gaal-coached Bayern will be gunning for the three points with president Uli Hoeneß warning it is a must-win game at Dortmund.
"We absolutely have to win at Dortmund so we can get back into the championship race," said Hoeneß.
"If not, it will become difficult to make up the difference before Christmas."