WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) — Wolfsburg needed a reaction from its players after losing 6-1 to Borussia Dortmund last week. It got just that with a 5-0 demolition of Mainz in the Bundesliga on Friday.
Max Kruse had a hat trick as Wolfsburg scored all five by halftime.
The win hauled Wolfsburg up to 11th to make relegation almost impossible. That's a relief after a disappointing season for the team, which played Champions League soccer in the autumn after placing fourth in the last campaign.
Jonas Wind got the scoring started in the eighth minute on the rebound, and Mainz's comeback hopes were swiftly crushed when Niklas Tauer was red-carded for a hard foul in the box on Felix Nmecha, with Kruse scoring the resulting penalty.
Kruse scored again off a Ridle Baku pass and Wolfsburg went 4-0 up when Mainz defender Stefan Bell headed the ball into his own teammate, leaving Wind another easy finish. Kruse completed his hat trick in first half added time.
It was a game to forget for Mainz, which stayed ninth and winless in five straight league games.
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The Associated Press