Mönchengladbach - Japanese international Hiroshi Kiyotake was the matchwinner as 1. FC Nuremberg clinched an impressive 3-2 away win at Borussia Mönchengladbach. The Japanese international created two and scored one as Gladbach suffered their first home defeat of the season.
Nuremberg were well set up in attack with Kiyotake playing behind Tomas Pekhart, Robert Mak and Alexander Esswein, with the plan to hit their hosts on the counter-attack. Denied space in which to play, however, Dieter Hecking's team simply used 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. Gladbach responded well, however, and deservedly registered before the break and after Raphael Schäfer had diverted his close-range volley onto the post, Luuk de Jong finally netted his first goal for his new club 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 equalizer. More good work from Herrmann, this time on the left wing, then teed up Granit Xhaka for his debut goal in Borussia colours. 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 and inflict only Gladbach's second home defeat in 22 matches.