Nicolai Müller scored twice as Hannover moved off the foot of the Bundesliga standings and above ten-man visitors Nuremberg with victory in Saturday's relegation six-pointer at the HDI-Arena.
Goals: 1-0 Müller (45'+5), 2-0 Müller (77’)
Red Card: Rhein (11')
It was an uphill battle from the 11th minute on for Nuremberg, who were reduced to ten men following Simon Rhein’s reckless challenge on Julian Korb. Müller and Genki Haraguchi kept Nuremberg goalkeeper Christian Mathenia busy as Hannover turned the screw, but Nuremberg created chances of their own that neither Törles Knöll nor Adam Zrelak were able to take. Haraguchi went close again, before Müller put Hannover in front in first-half stoppage time, reacting quickest to head Hendrik Weydandt’s towering knock-down in from close range.
Hannover monopolised possession after the restart, but their efforts to wrap up the contest met stiff resistance from Mathenia. The Nuremberg stopper thwarted a succession of openings from Jonathas, Haraguchi and Müller, before the Reds got the decisive second goal their dominance deserved. Nuremberg overcommitted in attack, allowing Jonathas to send Eintracht Frankfurt loanee Müller scampering away on the break. He held off his man and slammed the ball into the bottom corner to give Thomas Doll his first win as Hannover coach and end a run of five matches without a win for the Lower Saxony club.
- Hannover ended a run of 522 minutes without a home goal in the Bundesliga.
- Müller scored his sixth career Bundesliga brace. He previously grabbed three for Mainz and two for Hamburg.
- Doll's last Bundesliga win came on 6 May 2008, when he was in charge of Borussia Dortmund.
- Hannover fired off 17 attempts on goal to Nuremberg’s seven.
- Nuremberg are winless in their last 16 away games dating back to 2013/14. They have collected just two points on the road this term - fewer than any other team.
- Nuremberg's Georg Margreitter had not missed a single minute of Bundesliga action this season before today.
Hannover: Esser – Korb, Akpoguma (Wimmer 44'), Anton (c), Ostrzolek – Müller (Fossum 78'), Bakalorz, Walace, Haraguchi – Weydandt (Wood 63'), Jonathas
Unused subs: Sahin-Radlinger, Albornoz, Sorg, Muslija
Out: Asano (illness), Bebou (thigh), Füllkrug (knee), Hübers (knee), Maina (knee), Sarenren Bazee (shin), Schwegler (suspended)
Coach: Thomas Doll
Nuremberg: Mathenia – Valentini (Ishak 88'), Mühl, Ewerton, Leibold – Pereira, Behrens (c), Rhein, Palacios (Fuchs 60') – Zrelak, Knöll (Kubo 76')
Unused subs: Bredlow, Bauer, Kerk, Erras
Out: Lippert (knee), Petrak (suspended), Löwen (calf), Salli (Achilles tendon)
Coach: Michael Köllner