Fully aware that fourth place was up for grabs following Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s loss against Hamburger SV on Friday, Gladbach began strongly and almost took the lead within seconds of kick off when neat interplay between Juan Arango and Max Kruse set up Patrick Herrmann in the six-yard box, but his effort was well blocked by Rafael Schäfer in the Nürnberg goal. The visitors refused to let up in the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead when Arango’s free-kick took a deflection off the Nürnberg wall, leaving Schäfer wrong-footed.
Kruse on target
The hosts were determined not to give up without a fight though, and although Josip Drmic hit the bar with a header - FCN would also later strike the woodwork for a 23rd time this season - they struggled to break down a compact Gladbach side that looked to counterattack at every opportunity. Indeed, while the visitors were far from at their most fluid, they could easily have extended their lead if Kruse had been more ruthless with the handful of chances that came his way.
There was precious little to see at the other end of the pitch from Nürnberg, with Gladbach dominating the closing stages as they looked for a two-goal cushion. Kruse eventually provided it when he coolly converted from the penalty spot after being chopped down by Mike Frantz. The result keeps the Foals firmly in the hunt for a European berth, while Nürnberg’s position gets more precarious with each passing week
Line-ups and statistics