Mainz picked up a point from their travels and are now level on points with the league's fourth and fifth-placed sides. Wolfsburg's focus returns to Europe next week, but their abject league results have continued.
Wolfsburg 1-1 Mainz
(Schürrle 52' - Jairo 65')
Mainz moved a step closer to the top four with a 1-1 draw at Champions League quarterfinalists Wolfsburg. Jairo Samperio equalized on 65 minutes, canceling out an opener from Andre Schürrle to claim a share of the spoils for the Carnival Club.
Mainz are level on 45 points with Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, while Wolfsburg lie further back in eighth on 39 points. The Wolves were coming off the back of a 2-0 win over Real Madrid, arguably the biggest result in the club's history. But despite the success in Europe, Wolfsburg's league form has been disappointing.
Although Bas Dost returned for his first start since breaking his foot in winter, former Chelsea forward Schürrle was the key source of creativity for the home side. On 25 minutes, he was denied by Mainz goalie Loris Karius. Before the end of the half, Schürrle fired another shot at Karius, but the German keeper came out on top.
Schürrle's strong display would be rewarded when he rounded off a superb counterattack on 52 minutes to give the home side the lead. Bruno Henrique dispossessed Guilo Donati on the right side, the Brazilian slid a ball into Schürrle's path and he casually flicked the ball past Karius.
Wolfsburg's inability to kill off the contest is perhaps indicative of their Bundesliga season so far. Mainz's mental strength was evident as they bounced back to dominate the next chunk of play. Christian Clemens sneaked the ball into the path of Yunus Malli who couldn't beat Koan Casteels from inside the box.
It wasn't much longer, though, before the Wolfsburg keeper was beaten. On 65 minutes, Stefan Bell searched for substitute Jairo with a sweeping, cross-field pass and the Spaniard finished confidently from close range - his seventh Bundesliga goal of the season. Three minutes later, Casteels was back peddling to Clemens' threatening long-range effort.
Jairo should have wrapped up all three points with eight minutes left, running half the length of the pitch, but eventually failing to get his shot away. In stoppage time, things went from bad to worse when Wolfsburg defender Dante was shown a second booking after a late tackle on Jhon Cordoba.
With just three in their last 16 Bundesliga games, Wolfsburg's issues run deeper than poor performances and results. Before there's time for an inquest, the Wolves head for Madrid with a 2-0 advantage in their Champions League quarterfinal clash as they look to reach the last four for the first time in their history.