1-0, Stöger 4'. 2-0, Bastians PEN 7'. 2-1, Salli 18'. 3-1, Mlapa 27'. 3-2, Bulthuis 34'. 3-3, Salli PEN 45+3'. 4-3, Mlapa 55'. 5-3, Quaschner 90'. 5-4, Parker 90+2'.
VfL Bochum 5-4 1. FC Nürnberg: Mlapa brace gives Bochum hard-fought win

VfL Bochum 5-4 1. FC Nürnberg: Mlapa brace gives Bochum hard-fought win

The boys in blue just managed to scrape over the line.

Jonathan Walsh

In what was a game that will live long in the memory, VfL Bochum edged out 1. FC Nürnberg 5-4, in what was a stunning nine-goal thriller.

Team news

Both teams opted for change following their last game, some enforced with others affected by fitness. Pawel Dawidowicz made his starting debut in place of Johannes Wurtz. Stefano Celozzi was fit to start again and Peniel Mlapa was back in the fold, as Russell Canouse and Nils Quaschner dropped out.

There was just one alteration for the visitors, as Kevin Möhwald replaced the suspended Guido Burgstaller.

A first half that words can't describe

The hosts got off to the best possible start, taking the lead inside the opening five minutes. A good piece of play from Marco Stiepermann kept the ball from heading out for a goal kick, as he set the ball back for Tom Weilandt. Stöger was the beneficiary of a wonderful cross, as the youngster volleyed home from 10 yards out.

One become two just minutes later, when a wonderful reverse pass from Celozzi picked out Thomas Eisfeld's darting run. The midfielder brushed Thorsten Kirschbaum on the way through, as Lasse Koslowski pointed to the spot. It looked a tad harsh, but Bastians wasn't concerned as he chipped his penalty past the 'keeper with ease.

Nürnberg began their fightback with real menace, and should have got at least one goal back when Lukas Mühl's header came off the underside off the crossbar and was hacked away. That didn't deter the Franconian outfit and Salli twice had good opportunities to square for Tim Matavz, but both were blocked by Bastians.

Finally, though, Bochum's resistance was broken by the troublesome Cameroonian. The initial cross was just above his head, but the second from Möhwald was driven back in with real pace and Salli snuck in ahead of his marker to nod home from close range; a third goal in just 18 minutes.

Their revival would be short-lived, and the home side regained control once more. Yet again, it was the hard work from Weilandt that made the goal. He managed to keep hold of another stray pass before turning Lazslo Sepsi in the corner. He drove into the box and picked out Mlapa, who had the simple tasking of heading home unmarked.

However, that two-goal cushion would not last long. After Mühl and Hanno Behrens had been denied twice in quick succession, Nürnberg finally grabbed their goal. It was a Möhwald delivery that did the damage again, picking out the rising Bulthuis to crash a powerful header in off the post and behind Riemann.

Eisfeld was denied by a superb Kirschbaum effort late on, and that paved the way for the Franks' equaliser. Cedric Teuchert had replaced Enis Alushi, and went down under pressure from Anthony Losilla. One again, the contact was minimal but the penalty was awarded; Salli converted and brought an end to a breathless first-half at 3-3.

Bochum push on for all three points

Any worries that the goals would dry up were removed almost immediately. Both sides had half chances in the early stages of the second half, but Bochum took the major opportunity that came their way. Bastians rattled the post from close range, and the ball came off his back and dropped for Mlapa to rifle home. The crazy game continued.

Unsurprisingly, the second half brought much fewer in the way of clear-cut chances as both tightened up in a bid to form a more sturdy basis to build on. The visitors, keen to keep crossing the ball, made the curious decision to take off Möhwald and bring on Shawn Parker; an injection of pace was needed in their side.

Despite their attempts to get back into the game, a lack of tempo and the aim to go long at almost every opportunity rarely troubled Bochum; in fact, they were able to deal with any crosses and free-kicks much better than in the opening period. Sepsi's volley was the closest they came, while Stiepermann fired over at the other end.

Riemann then had to be at his very best to keep out a superb turn and shot from Riemann, as they finally got the ball back on the ground. That was only a momentary shock as the hosts held on to cap off a manic game in rather routine style, adding a fifth through Quaschner in what is another 2. Bundesliga classic. They did, though, concede a fourth through Parker's deflected strike but it was too little, too late for Alois Schwartz.