Nuremberg - 1. FC Nürnberg will have to wait at least until the end of January to register their first win of the Bundesliga season after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to FC Schalke 04 on Saturday evening.
In spite of their efforts, a disallowed goal and a 16th shot against the woodwork this season, Gertjan Verbeek's men failed at the 17th attempt to notch win number one as they drew for the 11th time this season against weary-looking guests from Gelsenkirchen.
Hiroshi Kiyotake could hardly believe his luck when he was presented with only Ralf Fährmann to beat in the third minute, but the Schalke custodian made himself big and blocked the Japanese forward's effort. It gave an inkling of what was to come, though, with the hosts hungrier to assert themselves on the game while the Royal Blues appeared tired, both in their legs and minds.
Daniel Ginczek had Nürnberg's next chance before Kiyotake sent his next shot into the side-netting as the one-way traffic continued. Daniel Hlousek set the alarm bells ringing again in the Schalke back line with Felipe Santana glad to clear his cross away before Jermaine Jones flashed the visitors' first shot of the game wide of the far post.
Schalke lost Christian Fuchs to injury after only half an hour with Leon Goretzka taking his place, but the flow of the game was not disrupted with Josip Drmic reeling away in celebration after finally beating Ralf Fährmann, but the linesman's flag soon brought an end to his joy. Fährmann then made a somewhat dramatic dive to push the ball away from under the nose of Drmic before the first half concluded with a Roman Neustädter shot just clearing the crossbar by inches.
There is an advertisement board inside the Grundig Stadion for the state lottery, and as the game wore on, the impression was there would be more chance of winning on that than seeing Nürnberg's number come up. Drmic was again denied by Fährmann before a fine recovering tackle from Santana stopped the Swiss forward in his tracks with the hosts clearly running short of luck.
Luck was not on Joel Matip's side either as his header finished up on the wrong side of the post with Schalke's first attempt of the second half, but that was nothing compared to one of the clearest indications of Nürnberg's luckless season so far: the statistic of how often they have hit the woodwork. They did that for the 16th time when Per Nilsson's back-header from Kiyotake's free-kick came back off the crossbar with the ball seemingly not wanting to go in.
Jefferson Farfan tried to wake Schalke up in the last 10 minutes, but there was no joy at the other end of the field either on a day when a goal was simply not in the air. Nürnberg had to settle for a draw once again while Schalke make up ground on both Borussia Dortmund and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who lost their games on Matchday 17.
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