The hosts had their first decent opportunity within ten minutes, when the ball was laid off to Benjamin Pavard and the Frenchman’s fierce shot was parried away by Robin Zentner before Alphonso Davies’ follow-up was deflected narrowly wide. For ‘Die Nullfünfer’, forward Karim Onisiwo was the most involved attacking player, but the 29-year-old wasn’t able to trouble Manuel Neuer in the opening stages.
In a dramatic few minutes, Jae-sung Lee had a penalty shout around the 20-minute mark when he tumbled under a challenge by Dayot Upamecano, but following a VAR review, the appeal was waved away. However, the deadlock was then broken when Kingsley Coman sloppily gave away possession and Anton Stach skipped past Pavard before squaring to Jonathan Burkardt, who lofted in a superb cross that Onisiwo headed into Neuer’s top left-hand corner.
Bayern came into the contest having scored the most goals in Germany’s top flight this term, but initially struggled to inject the required energy into their play. Robert Lewandowski glanced a header into Zentner’s arms on 49 minutes before the Pole turned provider as Coman spurned another gilt-edged opening. Coman made amends shortly afterwards though, latching onto Corentin Tolisso’s ball over the top and slotting between Zentner’s legs.
The Frenchman then came within a whisker of completing the turnaround on the hour mark, before 18-year-old Jamal Musiala came up with the goods, receiving a pass from Pavard, shifting it past substitute Jean-Paul Boëtius and stroking home calmly from the edge of the box. Bo Svensson’s side had a chance to equalise as Boëtius slipped in Marcus Ingvartsen, but the Dane dragged his shot well wide as Bayern withstood some late pressure to hold on.
The victory, coupled with Borussia Dortmund’s draw at VfL Bochum, means Bayern are well on course for their ninth straight league title, while Mainz have slipped to ninth and could be leapfrogged by VfL Wolfsburg if they defeat VfB Stuttgart later on Saturday.