Mainz (AP) – After the final whistle, Jan-Moritz Lichte had a heated argument with angry fans.
After the following bankruptcy, the coach of FSV Mainz 05, which was in deep crisis, spoke only of an “exchange of views” with some of the only 250 disappointed supporters of Rhine Hesse. Overall, after the 0: 1 (0: 1) against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, the Mainz side did everything possible to spread confidence despite the fourth loss on Matchday 4 of the Bundesliga.
“We have worked hard and shown that we are giving everything for the club,” said Jean-Paul Boetius. Together with his colleagues, he caused a sensation at the end of September with a players’ strike, which resulted in the dismissal of Achim Beierlorzer as head coach.
Successor Lichte was unable to change things in his second game as head coach after the 0: 4 at 1. FC Union Berlin, but at least ensuring a better appearance for Mainz. “We invested a lot and Leverkusen had to invest a lot to win,” said Lichte.
Bayer coach Peter Bosz, meanwhile, was “very satisfied” after his first win of the season with a goal from Lucas Alario (30th minute). It was also the sixth consecutive victory against Mainz. Bayer professional Edmond Tapsoba was lucky, who only saw the red card in the 78th minute, but was allowed to continue playing after video evidence.
The meeting was mediocre in events and goal scenes, but by no means boring. Both teams attacked early, leaving little room for development on either side. However, the ball circulated through the ranks of dominant Leverkusen partly to be seen. The home side bravely went out of their way and made a very good impression compared to matches against RB Leipzig (1: 3), VfB Stuttgart (1: 4) and Berlin – especially on the defensive end.
“The team showed together that they have the will to win the game,” said Mainz sporting director Rouven Schröder. “The result is boring.”
Lichte did without newcomer Kevin Stöger, as the Austrian still has form deficits after three months of unemployment. Even pardoned Adam Szalai, who caused the players’ strike in late September, was not on the squad.
The Mainz team could almost have fallen behind in the seventh minute. A punch defense from their goalie Robin Zentner landed at the feet of Leon Bailey, who aimed at a lifter just past the left post a good 20 yards. Bayer 04 also had a good second chance: after a cross, Daley Sinkgraven (15th) made a volley into the penalty area, but the shot was blocked by Jeremiah St. Juste.
After half an hour, the superiority of the guests with 70% possession of the ball paid off. After a corner from Bailey, Alario led the 1-0. The Argentine had already scored the winning goal against Mainz last season.
Bayer dominated the game in the second half, but had no chance to score. There was only excitement in the 78th minute when Tapsoba saw the red card after an emergency braking on Karim Onisiwo. The decision was overturned because Onisiwo was dismissed. Leverkusen can now start the Europa League season against OGC Nice on Thursday with a sense of accomplishment.