After a closely-fought opening to the game, Dortmund went ahead when Marcel Schmelzer curled in a sweetly-struck free-kick. However, the Bavarians fought back and were duly rewarded when Per Nilsson fired in a second-half equaliser, before both sides missed golden opportunities to win a pulsating contest.
Jürgen Klopp named a somewhat unfamiliar starting line-up in the Grundig Stadion, with youngster Erik Durm in for the injured Mats Hummels, and Robert Lewandowski and Henrikh Mkhitaryan benched in favour of Marvin Ducksch and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Nevertheless, BVB were their usual energetic selves in the opening stages and had carved the hosts’ defence open within seven minutes, Marco Reus rounding the keeper only to see his shot cleared by Emanuel Pogatetz.
Nürnberg responded well to the Yellow-Blacks pressure, though, with new signing Makoto Hasebe ever-present. The loan arrival from VfL Wolfsburg sent a speculative lob over the bar from fully thirty yards, before crossing for Mike Frantz to loop a header against the woodwork with Roman Weidenfeller beaten. Talismanic midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake provided a creative threat for der Club and went close to equalising, crashing a half-volley narrowly off-target.
Schmelzer from distance, Nilsson hits back
Dortmund’s game began unravelling as they regularly conceded possession, with Aubameyang in particular cutting a frustrated figure as he was caught offside more than once. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, it was through a set-piece that the visitors went ahead, as Schmelzer stepped forward to curl a wonderful free-kick into the top corner after Kuba had been hauled down by Frantz.
After Klopp had made two further enforced substitutions at the break, introducing Jonas Hofmann and Nuri Sahin for Reus and Schmelzer, it was Michael Wiesinger’s men that began the second period on the front foot, eventually forcing an equaliser. Marvin Plattenhardt’s free-kick fell kindly for the Swedish international and he showed no hesitation in blasting home from close range.
It was the signal for the home crowd to raise the volume and the Nürnberg players responded in turn, with Kiyotake looking increasingly dangerous, spraying passes around and testing Weidenfeller with a low drive. Robert Lewandowski had by this time entered proceedings in place of Ducksch and announced himself with a dipping shot, which Schäfer held well, before drawing an even better save from the home custodian after Hofmann’s mazy run.
The final minutes of the game belonged almost entirely to BVB as they pressed desperately for a winner, launching a barrage of crosses into the box. In a spectacular end to the game, substitute Alexander Esswein spurned a gilt-edged chance to win it for the hosts, before Schäfer preserved a point for his team with a smart save from Sokratris Papastathopoulos’ header in the final second, denying Dortmund all three points for the first time this season.
Line-ups and statistics