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Season 2017-18
FSV Mainz 05 (a)


Saturday 29th July 2017, 4.00pm (local)

 Opel Arena

Conditions: Scorching

Admission: Ä15 seats, Ä10 standing

No programme   

FSV Mainz 05

Newcastle United

2 - 1




5 mins The hosts advanced down the left and Pablo De Blasis supplied a diagonal pass into the box that reached Levin Oztunali as he outpaced Paul Dummett. The German U21 international slipped a low shot past Karl Darlow from around 10 yards. 0-1

Half time: FSV 1 NUFC 0

5 mins Recently-arrived substitute Christian Atsu burst down the United right before sending over his cross. That was met by Karim Onisiwo whose wayward header dropped on the edge of the box before Ayoze Perez got a vital first touch to divert the ball into the path of Jesus Gamez.

The United defender was a yard inside the area in a central position when he tried a right footed shot that
spun off Onisiwo and in over the wrong-footed 'keeper in front of the away section.

The effort was not unlike Mo Diame's equaliser at Brighton in February, with goalkeeper Robin Zentner emulating Robbie Stockdale by ending up disconsolately tangled round his post.

84 mins Mainz attacked down their right flank and when the ball was threaded infield to Clement on the edge of the United area he was able to neatly evade the recovering Isaac Hayden before teeing up ex-smoggie striker Viktor Fischer to thumped a low shot home from the left side of the box. 1-2

Full time: FSV 2 NUFC 1

We Said


Rafa Benitez said:

"Itís a pre-season game, when you play these type of games all you want is to improve the fitness of the team. You want to be sure everybody understands what we want to do.

"I think we started well in terms of organisation and pressing but then we didnít regain properly, gave them a chance to counter attack and then score.

"Itís something we can improve. At the same time we had some good play and sometimes did well, sometimes not so well.

"That is pre-season for you. We had to adjust things and in the second half we had more pace and more intensity.

"Overall itís a pre-season game that you have to consider was positive in a lot of things. Even the bad things give us something to work with.

"You can see that and we can improve and prepare the team a little bit better for the Premier League.

"It is important to have new players and using all of the players in friendly games.
The players need to understand each other a little better but that is pre-season.

"You need to work hard and keep improving in all the areas, which is what we are doing now."

They Said

Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz:

"The two goals were beautiful. When we played with tempo and played quickly behind the lines, we were always able to create danger.

"We have not yet managed to implement our principles over 90 minutes, which is normal at this time of preparation, but now we have conquered an opponent from the Premier League and showed a lot of good moves.

"To recover from going back to 1-1
and score again speaks well for the team and was pleasing".

(Schwarz made his home debut after taking over months ago. The 38 year-old played for his hometown club as a junior before graduating to the first team. Beginning his coaching career elsewhere, he returning to manage the U19s in 2013, overseeing the reserve side from 2015).


United's fifth close season signing Mikel Merino debuted from the bench, wearing number 33. His arrival meant that the Magpies ended the game with a quartet of Spanish-born players on the field: Merino (Pamplona), Jesus Gamez (Fuengirola), Ayoze Perez (Tenerife) & Javier Manquillo (Madrid).

Pre-season pitch time:

Aarons 45+45+29+45=164
Atsu 45+45+61+30=181
Clark 45+45+77+45=212
Colback 28+45+13+60=146
Darlow 0+24+0+60=84
De Jong 75+62+29+60=226
Diame 62+45+45+60=182
Dummett 45+45+61+45=196

Elliot 63+45+61+0=169
Gamez 45
+0+29+45=119 (1 goal)
Gayle 45+45
+61+30=181 (3 goals)
Haidara 62+0+0+0=62
Hanley 28+45+0+0=73
Hayden 0+45+77+30=152
Lascelles 45+0+0+0=45
Lazaar 15+0+0+0=15
Lejeune 45+76+61+79=261
Manquillo 0+14+45+63=122
Mbemba 62+90+29+45=226
Merino 0+0+0+11=11
Mitrovic 45+45
+29+60=179 (2 goals)
Murphy 0+45+45+60=150 (2 goals)
Perez 45+45
Ritchie 0+0+45+45=90
Roberts 0+28+0+0=28
Saivet 45+0+13+0=58
Shelvey 45+45
Woodman 27+20+29+30=106
Yedlin 0+45+45+27=117

This was the first senior meeting at competitive or friendly level between Newcastle and Mainz and we've failed to unearth any player or coach with both clubs on their CV.

The game was preceded by what it termed a stadium festival, including the usual bouncy castle, live music, keepie-uppie show-off and copious amounts of food and drink. 

Mainz players stood at the tills in the Fan Shop to sign autographs and pose for photos, while former first team coach Martin Schmidt was honoured for his seven years of service to the club. 

Schmidt then reappeared for an on-field presentation before the game, also having the dubious distinction of a male voice choir serenade him with "You'll Never Walk Alone."


Willkommen in der Waffle, or more accurately this time round, a whine on the Rhine.

Newcastle suffered their first pre-season defeat at the fourth time of asking on Saturday, losing to their Bundesliga hosts in sweltering conditions that saw a pre-arranged drinks interval for the players after 25 minutes of the first half.

By then the black and whites were trailing to an early goal, Siem de Jong and Aleksandar Mitrovic having both missed opportunities to equalise. The Dutchman at least brought a save from the Mainz 'keeper after finding himself free in the box, but the Serbian's header over the bar from Dummett's centre was as lazy as it was predictable.

DeAndre Yedlin was replaced before the half hour mark with a hamstring issue, while half time saw  Rolando Aarons, Chancel Mbemba and Jesus Gamez all take to the field.

However it took until the 60th minute for the introduction of messrs Atsu, Perez and Gayle for the Magpies to look anything like a football team - an injection of pace and movement belatedly giving the Mainz defence something to rouse them from their slumbers.

Level within five minutes - albeit in fortunate circumstances - United could have won it when Perez couldn't get his header on target from another Atsu cross. At the other end meanwhile, Freddie Woodman made an excellent stop to deny Danish striker Viktor Fischer a goal on his home debut.

New signing Mikel Merino joined the action in the 79th minute, replacing Florian Lejeune in central defence as both sides looked to have settled for a draw. 

However the hosts
won it with six minutes remaining when former smoggy Fischer ended Woodman's pre-season shut out record with a firmly-struck effort as our defence buckled.

Seemingly upset with one or more decisions by the match officials, Jonjo Shelvey
(the third bearer of the captain's armband after Dummett and Jack Colback) sarcastically applauded the referee at full time before having words with a home player as he exited the field - and being hastily bundled down the tunnel by coaching staff.

The reporter from Allgemeine Zeitung called Newcastle's performance "unconvincing" and while the sizzling temperatures and mixed team selections were undoubtedly factors, to be so reliant on a number nine who will inevitably miss games due to fitness if not form and suspension is a concern.  

It's by no means the Jermain Defoe roadshow that cost the mackems dear last season, but we remain striker light - even without selling Mitrovic. That surely has to be more of a priority than altering the goalkeeper selection.  


Page last updated 31 July, 2017