Mainz stun Bayern with brilliant performance in comprehensive 3-1 win.
The champions were targeting records for away goals scored and away points won in a season but ran into a highly motivated Mainz who dominated from the opening kick-off.
The hosts won a corner within 18 seconds and when Jonathan Burkardt fired them into the lead in the 19th minute the only surprise was that it had taken so long.
Mainz had already hit the post twice – and they would do so five times in the match – and completely overwhelmed Bayern in midfield, asphyxiating the champions’ forwards.
Captain Moussa Niakhate tapped in an Anton Stach flick-on for 2-0 on the half-hour and it was no more than his team deserved.
Robert Lewandowski gave Bayern a foothold with a brilliant goal on the turn but it was one of only two shots Bayern managed in the match.
Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann made two changes at half-time, introducing Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala for Marcel Sabitzer and Leon Goretzka and his changes had an immediate impact.
The champions stretched Mainz, pulling them out of position and breaking down their methodical counter-attacking system that had been so effective in the first half. Bayern dominated in easily their best stretch of the match but they couldn’t open Mainz’s defence.
When Silvan Widmer played long to Leandro Barreiro, the Luxembourgish midfielder sealed the win with a shot that took a huge deflection over Sven Ulreich and in off the crossbar.
Bayern couldn’t muster any real response and continued the pattern of stale possession and conceding dangerous chances on the counter-attack.
By the end, Mainz could have easily scored more and Bayern were lucky to have even their one.
Mainz now move into the top-half, targeting their best Bundesliga finish since 2016 and responding strongly to the 5-0 hammering by Wolfsburg in their last match.
Bayern face Stuttgart in their next match, where they will be presented with the Bundesliga shield after clinching the title last weekend against Dortmund.
Mainz building something special?
The hosts looked a well-oiled machine in their energetic and committed win over Bayern.
Their first season under Bo Svensson saw them flirt with relegation, finishing 12th with a -17 goal difference. Last season they improved to 10th and they now sit ninth this time around with two games to play.
They haven’t scored more goals than this season’s tally of 46 since Thomas Tuchel’s last season in charge, and it was their emerging stars that really caught the eye.
21-year-old Jonathan Burkardt is enjoying his breakout season but Anton Stach and Leandro Barreiro are similar ages while Aaron Martin is only 25.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Jonathan Burkardt (Mainz): Almost every Mainz player could have taken the honours but Burkardt, with his six shots and all-around energetic performance, shone brightest.
FSV Mainz 05
Robin Zentner 6, Stefan Bell 6, Alexander Hack 7, Moussa Niakhaté 7, Silvan Widmer 7, Leandro Barreiro 7, Anton Stach 8, Dominik Kohr 8, Aarón Martin 7, Jonathan Burkardt 9, Karim Onisiwo 8
Sven Ulreich 5, Benjamin Pavard 5, Niklas Süle 6, Lucas Hernández 5, Alphonso Davies 6, Joshua Kimmich 6, Leon Goretzka 4, Serge Gnabry 6, Marcel Sabitzer 5, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting 6, Robert Lewandowski 7
13′ GOAL FOR MAINZ! Jonathan Burkardt rifles his low shot home after Sven Ulreich’s poor clearance was intercepted.
27′ GOAL FOR MAINZ! Mainz’s dominance pays off as captain Moussa Niakhate puts away Anton Stach’s flick-on from a free-kick.
34′ GOAL BAYERN! A neat and finish from Lewandowski Lewandowski makes it 20 career goals vs. Mainz as quick thinking from Choupo-Moting finds the Polish striker in the box. Mainz’s lead cut to 2-1.
49′ BIG BAYERN CHANCE! Gnabry beats Zentner to the ball in the box and crosses to Lewandowski in front of an empty net but desperate defending just gets the ball away.
57′ GOAL FOR MAINZ! Leandro Barreiro all but seals it as Mainz strike against the run of play with a long-range deflected effort for a 3-1 lead.