Nuremberg - 1. FC Nuremberg picked up their first win of 2013 and their first under Michael Wiesinger with a 2-1 triumph over Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Gladbach’s first defeat since mid-November was sealed by first-half goals from Timmy Simons and Tomas Pekhart, although Patrick Herrmann made a game of it when he pulled a goal back in the 58th minute. However, Lucien Favre’s side eventually ran out of puff and succumbed to their fifth defeat of the season.
After a crushing defeat to Borussia Dortmund last weekend, an early goal was just the tonic for Nuremberg. Their quickest goal of the season - and Gladbach’s earliest conceded - came from the spot as Simons stroked in a fourth-minute penalty after Thorben Marx had fouled Mike Frantz in the area. The hosts had barely stopped celebrating when Herrmann broke and rounded Raphael Schäfer at the other end, but Hiroshi Kiyotake saved their blushes as he scrambled in behind his own goalkeeper to clear off the line.
The first eight minutes had set the bar high for the remainder, which duly did not disappoint. Gladbach, undeterred by Herrmann’s miss, kept plugging away in search of an equaliser. Nuremberg, meanwhile, posed a threat on the break and Frantz’s sweeping cross was headed back into the danger zone by Kiyotake, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen got there first to diffuse the situation.
A mistake led to Nuremberg doubling their lead on the half-hour mark when Marx gave away possession cheaply and Kiyotake took charge, teeing up Pekhart to beat ter Stegen with a powerful left-foot finish. Luuk de Jong almost pulled a goal back for the Foals before the interval, but for the first time this season, Nuremberg took a two-goal advantage into the break with them.
History has a habit of repeating itself, and Nuremberg probably feared the worst when Herrmann latched on to de Jong’s header to power a shot into the left-hand corner and reduce the arrears in the 58th minute. Herrmann missed the target with a distance effort as the visitors pinned Nuremberg against the ropes moving past the hour. Sebastian Polter was sent on to give the hosts extra inches up front, yet he failed to make the most of his height when he headed wide with his first touch of the ball.
Stand up and be counted
It was, at least, a sign that Nuremberg were not just going to set up camp in their own half and build the barricades. Ultimately they didn't really need to as Gladbach soon ran out of ideas, almost conceding again when ter Stegen presented Robert Mak with a chance to wrap things up late on, only for the Gladbach custodian to make up for his mistake with a fine reflex save. Another goal was not forthcoming, though, as Nuremberg made it seven unbeaten at home and claimed a handy three points.
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