John Brooks and Wolfsburg hit Mainz early and often in the first half as they came away with the easy win, while Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig were stunned by Union Berlin.

Wolfsburg 5-0 Mainz

Wolfsburg put Mainz out of the game after hitting all five of their goals in the first half to secure a big win at the Volkswagen Arena.

John Brooks played the entire game for the Wolves, completing 91 percent of his passes and winning six duels, while Kevin Paredes came off the bench to play the final 10 minutes.

After last weekend’s 6-1 drubbing by Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg needed a response, and they made one in a big way again a Mainz team that still has dreams of locking down a European spot.

The hosts jumped out to an early lead after eight minutes when Ridle Baku’s cross was redirected towards the goal by Lukas Nmecha. The ball bounced off the post, but Jonas Wind was there to put in the rebound.

Mainz was in for a long day when Niklas Tauer was shown a red card after 20 minutes when he brought down Nmecha in the area, leaving the referee no choice but to call a penalty. Max Kruse stepped up to put away the spot-kick and double Wolfsburg’s lead.

The third goal in the 35th minute looked like something practiced on the training ground. Baku’s volleyed cross into the area fell perfectly for Kruse as he tapped the ball home.

Wind made it 4-0 for the home side in the 42nd minute as they capitalized on a totally confused Mainz.

Kruse completed his hat-trick in first-half stoppage time with a strike after collecting Yannick Gerhardt’s cross.

Wolfsburg pushed for more goals in the second half, but they had already done their damage.

The win moves Wolfsburg up to 12th place in the standings with 37 points.

RB Leipzig 1-2 Union Berlin

RB Leipzig appeared on their way to victory but Union Berlin had other plans as they hit two goals late in the second half to complete the come-from-behind win at Red Bull Arena.

Tyler Adams for Leipzig went the distance for Leipzig, completing 90 percent of his passing and winning eight duels as their three-game winning streak was snapped.

Following a thrilling 2-1 win over Union in the semifinal of the German Cup a few days ago, it was time for round two as both teams are still in a battle to lock down a Champions League spot.

It was tight in the first half as both sides refused to cede and ground. The closest either side came to scoring was just before halftime when Union Berlin’s Christopher Timmel unleashed a wicked half-volley attempt that clattered off the crossbar.

A scoreless first half saw the hosts finally break the deadlock just a minute into the restart when Yussuf Poulsen pounced on a failed clearance by Grischa Promel to steer the ball home.

Leipzig tried their best to double the lead, but their guests proved to be too stubborn to allow them to score any further.

Things turned in the favor of Union Berlin in the 86th minute when Sven Michel connected on a cross from Sheraldo Becker to put his diving header into the goal.

The excitement was not over as Michel teed up Kevin Behrens to slam home the game-winner in the 89th minute to exact some measure of revenge on the German Cup finalist.

Leipzig remains in fourth place in the standings with 54 points, but the race remains tight for the last two Champions League spots.

Notes

In other Bundesliga action, George Bello started for Arminia Beilefeld as the relegation candidates were beaten 3-1 by FC Cologne.

Julian Green went the distance while Timothy Tillman played 83 minutes for Greuther Furth in their 4-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen.

Joe Scally came on to play 20 minutes for Borussia Monchengladbach in their thriller 3-3 draw with Freiburg.

Both Tim Chandler and Justin Che were spectators for their respective teams as Eintracht Frankfurt and Hoffenheim shared the points following a 2-2 draw.

Ricardo Pepi remained on the bench as Augsburg boosted their survival hopes with a 2-0 win over Bochum.

In the 2. Bundesliga, Ryan Malone played the entire game while Jann George came on for the final 32 minutes as Erzgebirge Aue and Hansa Rostock played out a 2-2 draw.

Down in the 3. Liga, Terrence Boyd was held scoreless as Kaiserslautern suffered a shock 2-1 loss to Wehen Wiesbaden.

Lennard Maloney went the distance for Borussia Dortmund II as they played out a 0-0 draw with Hallescher FC.

Mael Corboz played 72 minutes while Jalen Hawkins came on to play the final seven minutes and change as Verl secured a 2-1 win over Saarbrucken.

Johan Gomez played the final 30 minutes for Zwickau in their 3-0 loss to league leaders Magdeburg.

Andrew Wooten played the final three minutes while Justin Butler watched from the bench as Waldhof Mannheim sealed a 2-1 win over Osnabruck.

By Kenya Brown

Born in America, but raised in Europe and Asia, Kenya has loved soccer ever since his parents put a ball at his feet. While covering some of the top U.S. players around Europe, he loves putting the spotlight on players who are based in leagues off the beaten path. He also interviews coaches and other people in the game to gain more insight.

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