Personnel and tactics
As was announced prior to the match, Julian Nagelsmann made changes to the team that started against Leipzig. The back four started with Niklas Süle and Fabian Schär at centre back in front of keeper Oliver Baumann, who was making his 200th Bundesliga appearance. Ermin Bicakcic and Jeremy Toljan were selected as full backs, captain Eugen Polanski and Pirmin Schwegler took to the centre of the park, and Lukas Rupp and Sebastian Rudy out on the wings. Sandro Wagner and Andrej Kramaric led TSG in attack, making it a relatively defensive starting XI from the manager. Toljan pushed up when TSG were going forward, changing the 4-4-2 formation into a 3-5-2.
Pavel Kaderabek, Kerem Demirbay, Nadiem Amiri, Mark Uth, Adam Szalai and Philipp Ochs were on the bench for Mainz having been thrust into the first team in the past couple of weeks of training. Eduardo Vargas was not included in the squad due to being ill with a fever. After going behind so early on by such a clear margin, Nagelsmann responded by substituting Schär and bringing on Mark Uth to add to the team’s attack. Pavel Kaderabek came on for Toljan for the second half and in the 64th minute Polanski was brought off and replaced by Adam Szalai, who was also thrown into the Hoffenheim attack.
Moment of the match:
Making it 4-4 of course. Adam Szalai scores. After 40 games without a goal against his former club, he brings it to 4-4 in an insane match. Only football can write history like this. The Hungarian rescues a point in Mainz for “Hoffe”.
Goal of the game: 1
A wonderful first goal from Sandro Wagner. Assisted by strike partner Kramaric, Wagner volleys in to make it 3-1. It is the first Bundesliga goal for the 28-year-old. It turns out to be one of four goals which earned TSG a point in Mainz. Moreover it is the first time in TSG’s history in the Bundesliga that they have taken a point after being three goals down.