Alexander Esswein (l.) and Markus Feulner (r.) were both on target in 1.FC Nuremberg's biggest win of the season
Alexander Esswein (l.) and Markus Feulner (r.) were both on target in 1.FC Nuremberg's biggest win of the season

Vital win for Augsburg as Nuremberg thump Schalke

Munich - 1. FC Nuremberg dispatched FC Schalke 04 to the tune of 3-0, while relegation-threatened trio 1899 Hoffenheim, Greuther Fürth and FC Augsburg all picked up points on Matchday 26 - one apiece for the former pair against Mainz and at Bremen respectively, and all three in Augsburg's case at Hamburg.

1.FC Nuremberg 3-0 FC Schalke 04

1.FC Nuremberg celebrated their biggest win of the season with Markus Feulner, Alexander Esswein and Mike Frantz on target in a 3-0 win over Schalke 04.

It was always going to be interesting to see how Schalke responded to their UEFA Champions League elimination in midweek, breaking a run of three consecutive league wins, and the first signs were positive. Jefferson Farfan nudged the first real chance wide of Raphael Schäfer’s goal with only the Nuremberg number one to beat before Julian Draxler’s chip was cleared by Timmy Simons. Draxler went even closer, hitting the post, before Nuremberg took a surprise lead through Feulner with the tenth Bundesliga goal of his career and the first with his left foot.

Efficient Club

Schalke emerged for the second half with the same verve as in the first, and it looked like the game was following the same path as Benedikt Höwedes hit the post with Chinedu Obasi sending the rebound over.

Indeed, just as in the first 45 minutes, the big chances were falling the Royal Blues’ way, but it was the Bavarians who found the back of the net. Esswein was put through by Hiroshi Kiyotake and kept his cool to beat Timo Hildebrand, before Frantz made it three from another Kiyotake assist, giving Nuremberg their biggest win since beating the same opponents 4-1 almost a year ago.

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Hamburger SV 0-1 FC Augsburg

FC Augsburg got back to winning ways in the Bundesliga with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Hamburger SV, courtesy of Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker’s early headed goal.

Much of the pre-match build-up had been focused on the South Korean duel between Hamburg’s Heung-Min Son and Augsburg duo Ja-Cheol Koo and Ji Dong-Won, but it was the away side’s German talent on show that got the game up and running. Inside the first five minutes, Callsen-Bracker headed home unchallenged from Tobias Werner’s corner to give third-from-bottom FCA the perfect start.

Wasteful hosts

It was a setback for Hamburg but they came back into the game well and should have hauled themselves level but for some poor finishing, with Artjoms Rudnevs guilty of two glaring close-range misses. And after the break it was a similar story of frustration for the home side. Rudnevs had an effort well blocked by Klavan on the turn, before Son headed wide with Dennis Aogo waiting to line up a volley behind him.

The home side’s cause wasn’t helped by the dismissal of substitute Maximilian Beister, who was shown a straight red card after a lunging kick on Augsburg’s Daniel Baier. From there on in HSV’s challenge faded, and the visitors duly wrapped up another potentially crucial victory.

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SV Werder Bremen 2-2 Greuther Fürth

Aaron Hunt scored twice from the penalty spot, but it was not enough for SV Werder Bremen to earn more than a point against cellar-dwellers Greuther Fürth, who snatched a 2-2 draw with goals from Thanos Petsos and Stephan Fürstner.

Frank Kramer took his place on the Fürth bench for the first time, and he got to see the dignity he had called for from his team. Determined to at the very least go down fighting, they went close to opening the scoring through Bernd Nehrig and Fürstner. Bremen’s reply was an effort from Nils Petersen which only found the side-netting, and saw the home team greeted with boos from the fans as they left the field at half time.

Tale of two penalties

The jeers were soon turned to cheers as Hunt put the home side in front from the penalty spot after being fouled by Lasse Sobiech. Their joy was short-lived, however, with Fürstner levelling after being left in too much space to meet Heinrich Schmidtgal’s cross.

Petsos then silenced the Weser Stadion by putting an insistent Fürth in front, curling a direct free-kick past Sebastian Mielitz. Another penalty allowed Bremen to level with Hunt again on target, although Max Grün did get a hand to it this time.

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1899 Hoffenheim 0-0 FSV Mainz 05

1899 Hoffenheim and 1. FSV Mainz 05 played out a scrappy 0-0 draw in the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

Both the sides had come into the game on the back of excellent victories last weekend, but there was little in the way of goalmouth action in the opening half-hour. Indeed, the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock was Nikolce Noveski’s header for Mainz that struck the outside of Heurelho Gomes’ post.


Yet if the opening half had been cagey, the second period was anything but as chances fell to both teams. Joselu almost made the most of Noveski's error to release Kevin Volland but his cross was deflected clear, before Noveski missed his kick completely with just Gomes to beat from six yards out.

In the dying minutes, Mainz were again unfortunate that their best opening fell to defender Noveski after Yunus Malli’s raking pass, while Joselu looped a header into the arms of Christian Wetklo. Mainz looked arguably the more likely to team to grab a winning goal, but Gomes was off his line smartly and decisively to punch clear a host of crosses late on.

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