Local pride, as well as three valuable points, were at stake in the oldest derby of them all in Germany. Given that the two teams had mustered just four wins and twenty goals between them all season prior to kick-off, there was an air of inevitability about the hard-fought but disjointed opening. Full-blooded tackles were the order of the day, with neither able get anywhere near the opposing goal.
Nuremberg's Markus Feulner, scorer of a stunner last week against Bayern Munich, let the heat of the battle get the better of him and was sent off shortly before half time for an ill-timed lunge at Stephan Fürtsner. The hosts were unable to make the most of their numerical advantage prior to the break, as Nuremberg shut up shop, hoping to reorganise during the interval.
Visiting coach Dieter Hecking logically instructed his team to sit deep after the restart, though their efforts going forward, limited entirely to counterattacks, now had more of an edge of determination about them. Another tactical readjustment was required just 15 minutes into the second period though, as Fürth's Sercan Sararer was given his marching orders for dangerous foul play.
Nevertheless, it did little to change the course of proceedings, with both teams too cautious going forward, determined not to get caught out at the back with the extra space now on offer. It was therefore no surprise that the match ended goalless, with goalmouth action almost non-existent throughout. The result did little to help either side, although both can take consolation at having kept a rare clean sheet.
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