1. FC Nürnberg 0-0 Karlsruher SC: Entertaining battle ends goalless thanks to the woodwork.

Two of the division’s biggest teams came up against each other as they looked to ignite they’re season’s. Former Bundesliga giants Nürnberg haven’t done as well as they would’ve had hoped after relegated and after a 9th place finish last season they were looking to build on that. Despite that aim they’ve struggled to do that and currently sit in 10th place as they concede just as many goals as they score.

Karlsruher would’ve expected to have a similar campaign to last season, however this season they’ve struggled to match the stability they had at the back. Karlsruher had the best defence in the league, shipping in just twenty-six goals, last campaign they’ve already conceded eighteen goals. They find themselves in 13th place, just three points away from the relegation play-off spot.

The previous meeting’s between the two sides see Nürnberg come out on top having beaten Karlsruher sixteen times in their history. Nevertheless Karlsruher won’t be afraid of that as in recent years they’ve been the team that’s come out on top, the last five meetings has seen two draws and three wins for Karlsruher. The last victory for Nürnberg came back in the 2003/2004 season where they won 2-0.

Nürnberg started the brighter of the two sides as they pushed for an early opener to please their fans. The opening ten minutes provided a tight encounter in midfield but it was Nürnberg that shined the most in attack and it was no surprise they created the first chance. Niclas Füllkrug headed down to his attacking partner Guido Burgstaller on the edge of the area and the Austrian’s effort from range forced Dirk Orlishausen to flick the shot onto the post.

Karlsruher quickly responded as they countered from that attack, Dimitrij Nazarov delivered a lovely cross from the right to find Hiroki Yamada in space. Disappointingly for Japanese midfielder he couldn’t strike the ball cleanly and directs the ball wide of the left post.

Nürnberg thought they had taken the lead on the half hour mark, Alessandro Schöpf’s corner wasn’t cleared by Karlsruher and this allowed Georg Margreitter to head down to the open Füllkrug. The young forward managed to finish his chance, however the flag was up. It always looked like a tough decision and the host’s certainly felt hard done by as replay’s showed Füllkrug may have been level.

The host’s were having more of the ball and were creating the better chances as Karlsruher stayed tight at the back and looked for the chances to counter attack. Unfortunately for Karlsruher there weren’t too many chances for them to so.

The away side brought on Manuel Torres at half time and they looked much better going forward, despite their early second half dominance it was Nürnberg that came the closest to scoring. From a corner Margreitter showed his strength in the air to out jump his marker, sadly for the Austrian his effort cannoned off the inside of the post before being cleared off the line, Orlishausen was very relieved as he was well beaten.

Moments later Karlsruher struck the woodwork themselves, Enrico Valentini was allowed to have plenty of time outside the area to have a shot, he did decide to shot, however he sliced the effort and fortunately Gaëtan Krebs ran into the area to fire a shot which rattled the crossbar. The rebound then found Grischa Prömel on the edge of the area, though his effort wasn’t as good as he blasted the ball well over the bar.

Nazarov thought he had broke the deadlock with fifteen minutes remaining, however that wasn’t the case as Thorsten Kirschbaum produced a wonderful fingertip save to flick his header over the bar. Nazarov was picked out beautifully by Manuel Torres and from just a few yards out Nürnberg fans probably felt their side were going behind.

One of the host’s best chances came ten minutes from time, Burgstaller provided a quality cross to find substitute Danny Blum four yards out and Orlishausen like Kirschbaum earlier on was on fine form to react quickly and palm the header away from goal.

Nürnberg were edging more an more forward and they were looking the most likely to find a winner. Shortly after Blum’s chance Burgstaller was the creator again, this time cutting the ball back to the free Tim Leibold. Sadly he struck his shot down the middle and Valentini cleared with his head in front of Orlishausen.

That was the last of the action as neither side could find a breakthrough, despite there being no goals it was an entertaining goalless draw, especially when the game opened up in the second half.

Nürnberg stay in 10th place following the draw and next week is another crucial game as they’ll travel to face Union Berlin in the hunt for their first win in five league games. Karlsruher’s position in the table looks a little brighter thanks to that draw as they move up to 11th place, despite that small positive they face Bochum on Friday, a side that are fighting at the top end of the table.

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