Newcastle 0:1 Mainz 05: Elstern beat Bundesliga opponents in a cautious encounter in Austria
Newcastle 0-1 Mainz: Elster, beaten by Bundesliga opponents in Austria featuring Eddie Howe, sweated over the fitness of Fabian Schar after the Switzerland international limped away
- Newcastle lose to Mainz in Austria in their toughest pre-season test to date
- The club had previously won two games in preparation before the clash with Mainz
- Magpies sweated over Fabian Schar’s fitness after he hobbled away
Newcastle were beaten 1-0 Bundesliga Team Mainz 05 in an unremarkable duel in Austria, completing their Central European pre-season before heading to Portugal.
With the club’s first summer under new Saudi-backed owners, optimism was high in the North East for the club’s fortunes in the coming season.
The Elster met Mainz, who finished eighth in the German top flight last season, after back-to-back victories against Gateshead and 1860 Munich after a promising start to the pre-season under coach Eddie Howe.
Newcastle lost 1-0 to Mainz 05 in what may be their toughest pre-season test yet
Such victories had only added to the excitement at Tyneside this season and the Mainz clash gave the club an early opportunity to see where they stand ahead of the start of their domestic season on 6 August.
However, Howe’s side, after two comprehensive results before that encounter, were easily brought back to earth by Delano Burgzorg’s second-half goal that handed Newcastle their first defeat of the season.
Significantly, the goal came just seconds after centre-back Fabian Schar was forced to retreat after a pull up. He was replaced by Dan Burn, who was signed in January, and Newcastle fans will be sweating over the fitness of their Swiss defender with just weeks before the Premier League season restarts.
The sweltering heat of the Austrian Alps made it a tough encounter for both sides
All of the notable moments therefore happened in Newcastle centre-back as Sven Botman, the club’s most notable summer signing to date, made his debut start for the club.
He is likely to start alongside Schar next season, with the partnership expected to lay the groundwork for Newcastle to secure a higher league place under Howe next season.
Howe started with a side that included some of the club’s established first-team stars and looked to put German opponents under pressure from the start. Midfield Joelinton, Bruno Guimaraes and Sean Longstaff provide Howe’s side with plenty of energy in the center of the park, which was evident at the Kufstein Arena on Monday afternoon.
Manager Eddie Howe sent a strong line-up including a number of established first-team starters
However, this early pressure didn’t last and Mainz slowly found their footing in the game. An Anton Stach free-kick saw Martin Dubravka run well with the Slovakian to keep the Bundesliga side at bay.
Joelinton, who embodied the revolution in the second half of the season under Howe and the new Saudi-backed owners, was struggling to get close.
After Schar went down with what appeared to be a hamstring injury and Mainz doubled the pain for Newcastle, Howe’s side struggled in the game but they struggled.
With pre-season games against Benfica, Atalanta and Athletic Bilbao still to come, Newcastle will know there is still work to be done ahead of their 2022-23 opener against Nottingham Forest.
Newcastle will sweat over the fitness of centre-back Fabian Schar after he left the pitch injured with a suspected hamstring injury