The Bundesliga title race and relegation battle remain on edge after Bayern Munich were held to a 1-1 draw in Nuremberg on Sunday, escaping with a point after the hosts missed a last-minute penalty.
Nuremberg 1-1 Bayern Munich
Goals: 1-0 Pereira (48'), 1-1 Gnabry (75')
Bayern were widely expected to steamroller their Bavarian neighbours here following Borussia Dortmund's defeat on Saturday, but they found the going tough against a deep-lying and extremely well organised home side. Niko Kovac's men only managed two shots on target in the first 45 minutes, one of which was a brilliant David Alaba free-kick that Christian Mathenia tipped onto the crossbar. Matheus Pereira had Nuremberg's best effort, drilling a long-range shot just wide of the post, before Sven Ulreich had a lucky escape, only just managing to clear the ball after Eduard Löwen anticipated a back pass from Mats Hummels.
Bayern brought on Serge Gnabry at half-time to give them greater attacking impetus, but it was the hosts who went in front within minutes of the restart. Sebastian Kerk's cross from the left found Löwen, whose shot was saved by Ulreich. The rebound fell to Pereira, who cut onto his left foot and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner. The visitors began to shift through the gears as a result and, after James Rodriguez grazed the crossbar with a free-kick, Serge Gnabry levelled the score with a back-post volley from Kingsley Coman's cross. Bayern pressed with increasing urgency for a winner in the closing stages, but Nuremberg had the best opportunity to take all three points when they were awarded a 90th-minute penalty. However, Tim Leibold's effort hit the post and ricocheted to safety, leaving each team disappointed with a point in their respective situations at opposite ends of the table.
- Fit-again Arjen Robben was back in the Bayern squad for the first time since 27 November.
- Lewandowski has now played at least 30 Bundesliga matches per season for the past nine years.
- Pereira scored his third goal of the season, all of which have come in the last five games.
- Bayern have now scored at least once in their last 24 Bundesliga matches, the longest such run currently in the top flight.
- Gnabry hit his 10th Bundesliga goal of the season, scoring five in his last seven outings. He has reached double figures in each of his three campaigns in the Bundesliga (once with Werder Bremen, once with Hoffenheim).
- Nuremberg have failed to beat Bayern in their last 15 competitive meetings (D5, L10), losing the last four without even scoring a goal. Their last victory over the record champions came on 2 February 2007 (3-0 at the Max-Morlock-Stadion).
Nuremberg: Mathenia – Bauer (Ilicevic 88'), Mühl, Ewerton, Leibold – Erras – Pereira, Löwen (Margreitter 82'), Behrens (c), Kerk – Ishak (Tillman 72')
Unused subs: Bredlow, Kubo, Petrak, Rhein
Out: Valentini (thigh), Zrelak (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Boris Schommers
Bayern: Ulreich – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Martinez (James 57', Davies 72'), Thiago – Müller (c) (Gnabry 46'), Goretzka, Coman – Lewandowski
Unused subs: Hoffmann, Rafinha, Sanches, Robben
Out: Boateng (knee), Früchtl (elbow), Neuer (calf), Ribery (muscular)
Coach: Niko Kovac