Hamburger SV midfielder Lewis Holtby believes they should have beaten 1. FSV Mainz 05 when the sides met at the Coface Arena in the Bundesliga on Friday night.
Despite having less possession and producing less goal attempts, Holtby is adamant Hamburg were the better side on the evening, and lamented their inability to make the most of the chances they created.
“I thought we were the stronger team for the first 65 to 70 minutes, but we were sadly not effective enough with regards to taking chances. It is a shame because we could have won here today,” he told the club’s official website.
“On the other hand Mainz came on strong late on so on the balance of play we must be happy with a point.”
Striker Sven Schipplock went agonisingly close to scoring what would’ve been the winning goal when he dribbled past two defenders into the box before firing a powerful shot goalward, only to be denied by a magnificent save from Loris Karius.
“I feel for Sven,” Holtby added. “It would have been great for him to score a crucial goal which could have kept us up. I am sure he will take his next chance.
“We have two important games ahead of us. First we face Wolfsburgand are keen to repay our amazing fans for their wonderful support this season and if possible celebrate staying up with them next Saturday.”
Head coach Bruno Labbadia agreed with the sentiment Hamburg were unable to take their chances, but felt they were ultimately lucky to leave with a point after they had to withstand a late barrage from Mainz.
“We began very well, were focused and won a lot of ball,” he said. “We also began the second half well, but sadly didn’t take our best chance.
“Mainz came at us late on so we can consider ourselves fortunate to take a point home with us. That point could turn out to be very valuable when you view the other results from today.”