Mainz gets by Borussia M'gladbach: Bundesliga
Andre Schuerrle's late winner earned Mainz a 1-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Friday, giving his side its first win at home in 2011.
The 20-year-old scored the goal his side's endeavour deserved in the 87th minute, when he let fly from 25 yards beyond Borussia goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
"I am very relieved that we managed to get this long range shot. This game has demanded a lot of me," Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel said.
Moenchengladbach's Mike Hanke was sent off for a second yellow card in the 54th, and the visiting side's appeals for a penalty were waved away by referee Deniz Aytekin in the 70th, when Marco Reus went down following an attempted clearance from Eugen Polanski.
"I don't know why he didn't blow for that. It's an insult. Everything has gone against us," Hanke said.
Mainz remains fifth, while Borussia stays bottom of the table — four points from safety — ahead of the rest of the weekend's games.
Schuerrle was a constant threat to the Moenchengladbach defence, forcing a close range reflex save from ter Stegen in the second minute, as the home side seized the initiative.
Polanski dragged his shot narrowly wide after a poorly cleared free kick in the 14th, before Martin Stranzl made a couple of vital clearances for Borussia.
Marco Reus had Moenchengladbach's first real chance in the 21st, shooting narrowly wide from a promising position, before Stranzl made another great block from Schuerrle.
The home side continued forcing the issue, with Moenchengladbach unable to keep possession for any length of time.
Schuerrle outpaced Dante in the 33rd, but opted to stay on his feet in the penalty area when the Brazilian was clearly holding him back, and the 20-year-old displayed wonderful control minutes later, only to see his shot drift to the right.
Reus posed Moenchengladbach's greatest threat, but was let down by a lack of support from his teammates when he produced a probing cross after a great run on the right, shortly before Juan Arango's free kick drew a flying save from Christian Wetklo before halftime.
Hanke, who was unlucky to receive his first yellow card for an innocuous challenge on Jan Kirchhoff in the 27th, received his second booking for a clumsy tackle on Polanski, and Aytekin had no hesitation in showing him red.
"The first yellow was absolutely ridiculous," Hanke said.
The referee ignored Borussia claims for a penalty shortly after Lewis Holtby's goalbound shot had been cleared at the last by Borussia's Tony Jantschke.
"That was a foul on Reus and a clear penalty," Borussia coach Lucien Favre suggested.
The visiting side seemed to play better with a player less, and continued to frustrate Mainz with some obstinate defending before launching counterattacks through Reus and Arango.
Wetklo intercepted a Reus crossfield ball for Arango, and the latter was narrowly wide of the right post in the 81st.
There was little ter Stegen — in only his second Bundesliga start for Moenchengladbach — could do about Schuerrle's late winner. The 20-year-old found himself in space, looked up and let fly beyond the 18-year-old goalkeeper for his 13th goal of the season.
Moenchengladbach has four games left to avoid relegation, starting next weekend at home to league leader Borussia Dortmund, before difficult ties against Hannover, Freiburg and Hamburger SV.
"Out of four games, we have to get three wins," Favre said.