An excellent Sunday performance from Der Club sees them close the gap at the top and they also extend their very impressive unbeaten run.
Going into the game league leaders RB Leipzig had lost just once in their last five matches and that was in a tough match up against second place Freiburg. Last weekend they bounced back with a 2-1 victory over 1860 München and they’ll hope to move onto another win over third place Nürnberg.
The home side Nürnberg however won’t lie down and accept defeat against Leipzig, they have title hopes of their own and have been on a roll in recent months. Der Club have won four on the bounce and haven’t tasted defeat since their 3-2 loss to today’s opponents all the way back in October.
Der Club had the first chance of the game as they managed an effort on goal in the first three minutes. Sebastian Kerk crossed from the left after a short corner and Even Hovland leapt well to win the header, unfortunately for the the Norwegian his effort flew across goal and just wide of the post.
The away side started to grow into the game more after Nürnberg’s bright start and they managed to create the chance of the early stages. Marcel Halstenberg’s freekick found Marvin Compper in space on the penalty spot and the central defender could only head just over the bar.
Just after the half hour mark there was a moment of brilliance, Kerk stepped up for a freekick from thirty yards out and his fantastic strike was heading for the top corner, sadly for the the youngster Péter Gulácsi matched the effort and palmed the ball out for a corner.
The youngster Kerk came close once more moments later, Guido Burgstaller was played through towards the byline and his cut back picked out Kerk, who’s effort went narrowly wide of the left post.
Just before the break the home side had a penalty shout turned down, Kerk was brought down in the area by Halstenberg and despite the contact Felix Zwayer said no.
Going into the break the home side were edging the game, they looked the most likely to break the deadlock and the influential Kerk was doing an excellent job in pulling the strings for Nürnberg.
The home started the second half the same as they finished the first and they had a great chance to open the scoring four minutes into the half. Burgstaller won possession for Nürnberg and it was two against one as he charged forward with Niclas Füllkrug. The Austrian played the ball across to Füllkrug and his heavy touch allowed Lukas Klostermann to get back and make an important challenge.
Moments later it was the away side Leipzig that took a surprise lead. Emil Forsberg played an excellent pass over the top to Yussuf Poulsen, the Dane timed his run perfectly as Mišo Brečko kept him onside. Poulsen was unselfish as he played the ball across to Davie Selke and the young forward had an easy tap in.
Nürnberg looked for a response and they almost found it on the hour mark, Kerk once again caused problems and his excellent cross found the head of Georg Margreitter, who couldn’t keep his header down and it flew just over.
Nürnberg’s top scorer Burgstaller managed to carve open the Leipzig defence by coming in from the right, disappointingly for the Austrian his effort wasn’t up to scratch and it was blocked by the Leipzig defence.
The home side were the more dangerous of the two teams, however they were very wasteful with a number of very poor attempts on goal. Despite that they managed to find an equaliser twenty minutes from time. A corner in from Kerk saw Margreitter raise to head down towards goal, Rani Khedira couldn’t clear and the ball fell perfectly to Ondrej Petrak who fired home a powerful volley.
Five minutes after equalising the hosts fired themselves into the lead. A long ball forward from Hovland saw Füllkrug flick the ball onto Burgstaller, Willi Orban made a last ditch tackle which fell to Füllkrug and the youngster made no mistakes as he hammered home his ninth league of the season.
Leipzig pushed for an equaliser but were struggling to create chances, however they came close when Selke’s shot from outside the area took a deflection and it narrowly bounced wide. The resulting corner wasted as it came in and went straight out of play.
Nürnberg managed to catch Leipzig on the break a number of times in injury time and the chances all fell to Burgstaller. The first chance saw him burst forward and his little chip over Gulácsi bounced agonisingly wide of the goal. Instantly after he was played through once more and this time he could only fire straight at Gulácsi.
The last kick of the game saw Burgstaller hit the back of the net at the third time of asking, this time Danny Blum charged down the left and he managed to play the ball back to Burgstaller who had time to control and blast his effort past Gulácsi and wrap up the three points.
The three points were huge for Nürnberg as they are now level with Freiburg in second as they play tomorrow and they are now only three points away from Leipzig. The league leaders won’t be happy with the defeat they were outperformed and the loss means they have lost against both their title rivals in recent weeks.
It doesn’t get any easier for Leipzig as they host a very tough Bochum side, up next for Nürnberg is a trip to relegation threatened FSV Frankfurt.