Yunus Malli scored a stunning hat-trick as Mainz moved up to third in the Bundesliga with a 3-1 home win over struggling Hoffenheim on Friday.
The attacking midfielder had come into the game having scored two goals in two games and netted a brilliant treble to leave the visitors still without a win from their first five.
It was Hoffenheim who raced into a 13th-minute lead when Jonathan Schmid latched on to Eugen Polanski’s through ball and calmly finished inside the near post.
It took just five minutes for Mainz to respond, though, with the in-form Malli netting. Christian Clemens found the 23-year-old on the left-hand side and he dribbled into the box before powering a shot past Oliver Baumann.
The visitors were almost back in front when Kevin Volland was denied by a brilliant stop from Loris Karius, who tipped the forward’s effort wide.
And Mainz made that let-off count in some style after 61 minutes. Malli received a pass on the right-hand side, breezed past Kim Jin-su and curled a wonderful left-footed finish into the top corner.
Mainz’s number 10 wrapped up the victory seven minutes later when Malli smashed home Muto’s low cut-back to the far post at the second attempt.