Munich - Hannover 96 shot themselves up into second place in the Bundesliga as they won their second consecutive north German derby against SV Werder Bremen by the odd goal in five. Elsewhere Fortuna Düsseldorf kept a third straight clean sheet at winless VfB Stuttgart and 1.FC Nuremberg shocked Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Borussia Park Stadion.
Hannover 96 3-2 SV Werder Bremen
Szabolcs Huszti was Hannover's hero in the 4-0 win at Wolfsburg two weeks ago and, in case anybody had forgotten the Magyar's magic during the international break, he provided an instant reminder. The summer signing first curled a left-footed free-kick over the wall and beyond the reach of Sebastian Mielitz, before adding to his four assists when Leon Andreasen met his cross at the near post to extend the host's lead.
It looked like the Reds could run away with it, but as the ball bounced up against Mario Eggimann's hand inside the Hannover penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot, Bremen were given a route back into the game, and Hunt took it, placing the spot-kick high into the top right-hand corner of the goal.
Lars Stindl missed a good chance to make it three for Hannover just before half time, and it almost proved costly as Marko Arnautovic scuppered the opportunity to bring Bremen level early in the second half. The Austria international, who squandered a clear-cut chance to level against Germany in midweek, dragged a shot across the face of goal and wide of the far post rather than pulling the ball back to a team mate.
Tale of two halves
Bremen continued to push for an equaliser, which they finally found in the 74th minute. Arnautovic's sweeping cross made its way through to Eljero Elia, who squared for Kevin de Bruyne to shoot powerfully into the top left-hand corner of the goal and complete the comeback. Hannover rode their luck with Bremen having two goals ruled out for offside, but after Ron-Robert Zieler denied Arnautovic, it was the home side who had the last laugh with Huszti sending in a stunning volley in stoppage time to hand Hannover all three points, although his celebrations earned him a red card.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-3 1.FC Nuremberg
Nuremberg were set up well in attack with Hiroshi Kiyotake playing behind Tomas Pekhart, Robert Mak and Alexander Esswein, and their plan was clearly to hit their hosts on the counter-attack. Denied space in which to play, however, Dieter Hecking's team simply opted for a more direct approach, and it paid dividends as they eased into a 2-0 lead inside the first half-hour.
First, the impressive Kiyotake delivered a teasing cross into the box to allow Timm Klose to nod his side into the lead, before Timmy Simons headed in another precise delivery from the Japanese international. Gladbach responded well, however, and deservedly registered before the break. After Raphael Schäfer had diverted his close-range volley onto the post, Luuk de Jong finally netted his first goal in a Gladbach shirt when he tapped in Patrick Hermann's centre on the stroke of half-time.
Buoyed by de Jong's late strike, Gladbach began the second half in determined fashion and deservedly grabbed an equaliser. More good work from Herrmann, this time on the left wing, saw him tee-up Granit Xhaka, who made no mistake in following suit with a debut goal of his own. It had been an excellent fightback and no less than Favre's charges had deserved. Nuremberg remained dangerous, however, and the diminutive Kiyotake was not to be denied, riding two challenges to expertly place a shot into the corner and restore the away side's lead.
Gladbach continued to plug away in search of a third to level things up and came agonisingly close in the final minutes when de Jong's acrobatic volley rebounded off the post, before substitute Mike Hanke also missed a close-range header to further frustrate the home fans, inflicting Gladbach's second home defeat in 22 matches.
VfB Stuttgart 0-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Typified by the tenacity of captain Andreas Lambertz, making his Bundesliga debut with Düsseldorf and thus becoming the only player to have played in the top four divisions of German football with one team, Fortuna got in amongst their more illustrious opponents. Stuttgart dominated possession in the early periods of the opening half and came close through a speculative half-volley from Tamas Hajnal.
Norbert Meier's side were then given a huge reprieve when Martin Harnik was released down the right, but his weak cross allowed Stelios Mazelas to clear, denying Cacau what would have been a tap-in. The home side were not without their moments in the first half, however. Dani Schahin, recalled to the starting eleven in place of Stefan Reisinger, forced a save from Sven Ulreich and Oliver Fink sent a whistling drive from distance just over the bar as the sides went in level at the interval.
The second period followed much the same pattern, with Düsseldorf content to withhold pressure from Stuttgart. Bruno Labbadia's team were enjoying plenty of possession, but they looked distinctly short on ideas up front and badly missed the guile of suspended striker Vedad Ibisevic.
Harnik was a peripheral figure and, although Cacau forced an excellent stop from Fabian Giefer, the away side appeared untroubled at the back. Stuttgart did force a succession of corners in second-half stoppage time, but none of them amounted to more than a hopeful punt into the box, as Düsseldorf held out comfortably for a point.