Josip Drmic took his season tally to 15 with a brace against Stuttgart on Wednesday
Josip Drmic took his season tally to 15 with a brace against Stuttgart on Wednesday

Drmic double downs Stuttgart

Nuremberg - Josip Drmic scored twice as 1. FC Nürnberg moved out of the relegation zone courtesy of a 2-0 win at home to VfB Stuttgart.

Swiss sensation

The Swiss striker was by far and away the best player on the pitch, notching in either half to leave Huub Stevens' Schwaben two points from safety with seven games left to play before the season's end.

Stuttgart took the game to the hosts in the opening exchanges, with only the crossbar denying Konstantin Rausch from the edge of the box. Nürnberg upped the ante as the half progressed and really ought to have taken the lead when Marvin Plattenhardt sent an inswinging corner onto the head of Mike Frantz who, barely four yards from goal, could only glance wide with Stuttgart goalkeeper Sven Ulreich rooted to the spot.

The shackles off, Nürnberg continued to cause the visiting back four problems as Martin Angha drifted beyond his marker en route to sending a hasty effort high into the stands, before Ulreich came up trumps to foil Drmic one-on-one. Der Club's leading marksman was not to be denied his 14th Bundesliga goal of the season, though, rifling into the bottom corner after trading passes with lively Japan international Hiroshi Kiyotake.

Drmic strikes again

Trailing for the first time since taking the job, Stuttgart head coach Stevens responded to the unwanted setback by introducing Alexandru Maxim and Timo Werner at half time, the former teeing up Ibrahima Traore, who could only send a power-puff strike straight at Raphael Schäfer. Unlike their basement contemporaries, Nürnberg were in no mood to be profligate and deservedly doubled their lead through that man Drmic in the 54th minute.

The points wrapped up, Drmic left the field of play to a standing ovation, before a momentary, if not comedic, stoppage in play gave way to wry smiles all round as the Nürnberg medics saw to a hole in Schäfer's sock. Stuttgart had at least scored in all ten of their post-winter outings, but they couldn't even manage that on Matchday 27 as an irate Stevens suffered his first defeat since replacing Thomas Schneider on 9 March.

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