Mainz lost their unbeaten record in the Bundesliga this season as Wolfsburg roared into the top three with a 3-0 win at the VW-Arena.
Naldo scored the first and set up the second for Ivan Perisic before Daniel Caligiuri got in on the act as Dieter Hecking’s men made their intentions for the season clear with a commanding performance.
They could have won by a larger margin, hitting the woodwork twice, but they still improved their goal difference enough to climb above Hoffenheim, leaving Mainz in sixth.
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Ivan Olic thought he had given Wolfsburg the lead in the 12th minute when his header was fumbled by Loris Karius, who got the ball caught between his legs and only just managed to prevent it from crossing the line completely.
The hosts did not have to wait much longer before going in front, though, with Naldo rising completely unmarked to head Marcel Schafer’s corner in.
Mainz had a few chances to level, most notably through Filip Djuricic and Sami Allagui, but the Wolves’ lead was never really in danger.
Kevin De Bruyne was denied twice by Karius as Wolfsburg tried to convert their dominance into more goals and they succeeded just shy of the hour mark when Naldo rose again to meet a corner and his goalbound header was helped on its way in by Perisic.
Maximilian Arnold struck a post before Olic’s shot was pushed on to the crossbar by Karius as Wolfsburg continued to attack.
Their efforts were rewarded just a few minutes from time when Junior Malanda got to the byline and pulled the ball back across goal to the far post, where Caligiuri was all alone to complete the scoring from a yard out.