Michael Esser clanger hands Fortuna Düsseldorf dramatic win in Hannover

Fortuna Düsseldorf moved four points clear of the bottom three after Oliver Fink scored an injury-time winner at Hannover, albeit with a big helping hand from Michael Esser.

Hannover 0-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Goals: 0-1 Fink (90+1')

Knowing that a win could take them into the winter break outside of the relegation zone and a defeat could send them bottom, Hannover made a nervy start. Fortuna - four points better off in the lower echelons of the standings - tried to take advantage, but Dodi Lukebakio, Rouwen Hennings and Kenan Karaman were unable to make the most of a trio of presentable changes. Hendrik Weydandt spurned Hannover's clearest opening with 13 minutes gone.

Fortuna thought they had taken the lead on the hour mark, but Niko Gießelmann's close-range effort was scrambled away by Hannover goalkeeper Esser, with hawk-eye confirming the ball did not cross the line. Esser thwarted Karaman, Hennings and Kevin Stöger, before dropping an injury-time clanger, fumbling substitute Fink's speculative drive, to hand Fortuna their third successive Bundesliga win.

Hannover goalkeeper Michael Esser gifted Fortuna Düsseldorf all three points on Matchday 17. - Bongarts/Getty Images

Match stats

  • Fink scored his first Bundesliga goal since February 2013.
  • 14 of Fortuna's 18 Bundesliga goals this season have come in the second half.
  • Promoted Fortuna beat leaders Borussia Dortmund last time out, their second victory on the bounce – a season first. They also drew 3-3 against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
  • Hannover go into the winter break in 17th place, with only goal difference sparing them bottom spot.
  • Hannover have not won their final Hinrunde game for 12 years.
  • Hannover lined up with the same starting line-up in successive games for the first time in over a year.


Hannover: Esser – Sorg, Anton (c), Felipe – Haraguchi, Walace (Hadzic 84'), Schwegler, Albornoz – Muslija (Maina 71') – Weydandt, Wood
Unused subs: Tschauner, Elez, Bakalorz, Ostrzolek, Wimmer
Out: Asano (thigh), Bebou (thigh), Hübers (knee), Prib (knee), Sarenren Bazee (concussion)
Coach: Andre Breitenreiter

Fortuna: Rensing – Zimmermann, Ayhan, Kaminski, Gießelmann – Bodzek (c) (Sobottka 46'), Stöger – Lukebakio, Usami (Raman 69'), Karaman (Fink 84') – Hennings
Unused subs: Thießen, Ducksch, Bormuth, Zimmer
Out: Contento (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel