FSV Mainz 05 presented a B team from Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund and suddenly had their place in the league in the big Bundesliga final in their own hands.

Coach Bo Henriksen’s team clearly defeated BVB 3-0 (3-0) and moved past Union Berlin to 15th place. Direct relegation is no longer possible for the 05ers after the 33rd matchday.

“They were always one step faster,” said BVB offensive player Marco Reus, who is leaving Dortmund after the season, on Sky: “I also imagined a different last away game.” Reus said he could understand if there was criticism from Mainz’s relegation rivals: “We simply expect more from ourselves.”

Mainz attacker Jonathan Burkardt felt “pure joy”, and teammate Nadiem Amiri explained: “We felt it during the warm-up, this energy in the stadium – you just can’t lose.”

Against disoriented and extremely flawed Dortmund, Leandro Barreiro (12th minute) and Jae-sung Lee (19th/23rd) scored Mainz’s goals early on. BVB coach Edin Terzic changed his starting eleven to ten positions after the semi-final show of strength in Paris, thus beginning the preparation for the premier class final against Real Madrid. In front of 33,305 spectators, central defender Nico Schlotterbeck was the only professional who was part of the starting eleven, as was the case in the win at PSG (1-0).

Dortmund can achieve sixth place in the premier class

Dortmund will end the season in fifth place. If the title is won at London’s Wembley Stadium on June 1st, the Bundesliga will receive a sixth Champions League place. The 05ers’ relegation rivals were probably less happy about Borussia’s line-up and, above all, attitude.

Mainz’s rapid comeback under coach Henriksen, who took over in February when the starting position was almost hopeless, is about to reach its pinnacle. Given the two-point lead and the significantly better goal difference compared to Union, a draw at VfL Wolfsburg next Saturday should be enough to be saved. The last-minute win of 1. FC Köln against Union (3:2) had previously given the 05ers this opportunity.

Aluminum twice, then the gates

And the Mainz professionals took advantage of it from the first minute. Fired up by the loud audience, which the extroverted Henriksen had cheered energetically before kick-off, the hosts had the better chances. A free kick from Nadiem Amiri (7th) and a header from Silvan Widmer (8th) hit the crossbar and post. BVB’s B team repeatedly came too late in the opening minutes.

This was also the case with the first goal, when Barreiro was left completely alone after a cross from Widmer and made it 1-0. While Borussia, led by Niklas Süle, only watched passively at the first goal, they helped a lot with Mainz’s second goal. Substitute goalkeeper Alexander Meyer took a free kick so imprecisely that it landed directly at opponent Lee – the South Korean shot effortlessly into the empty goal.

Another double by Lee

BVB had not yet fully recovered from the second goal they conceded when another one was scored. Once again it was Barreiro, who had the Dortmund midfield around Felix Nmecha together with Amiri completely under control. Offensive player Lee scored – again from a stand-alone position – and, like against Darmstadt (4-0) in April, contributed a brace. If Meyer, who had previously made a mistake, had not thwarted further chances, an even greater Mainz lead at the break would have been possible.

When asked about the reasons for the complete rotation compared to the Paris game on Sky, Dortmund coach Terzic replied: “Because we have a lot of trust in the players and need freshness, both physically and emotionally.” At halftime he brought in three new players in Julian Brandt, Ian Maatsen and Jadon Sancho, but the duel already seemed lost. Nobody could recommend himself for a starting eleven at Wembley.