1. FC Nürnberg moved back into the 2. Bundesliga top two with a 2-1 win in the Franconian derby against SpVgg Greuther Fürth, their first away win in this fixture for 20 years.
Mikael Ishak opened the scoring early for Der Club, but goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow had to deny Julian Green on several occasions as the hosts fought in vain for an equaliser.
Cedric Teuchert doubled the lead in the second half, but a Jurgen Gjasula penalty set up a grandstand finish before Hanno Behrens made the game safe deep into stoppage time.
Ishak continues scoring streak but Der Club luck to keep lead intact
Despite a 3-0 reverse against Eintracht Braunschweig in midweek, new Fürth coach Damir Buric kept faith in the same eleven for the third game in row here, but there were two changes made by Nürnberg, who were still without goalkeeper Thorsten Kirschbaum, from the side that beat VfL Bochum on Thursday: Lucas Hufnagel and Tobias Werner were replaced by Teuchert and Kevin Möhwald.
Both of these bitter Franconian rivals had early chances the lead. Eduard Löwen first of all his the post for Der Club after being found by Tim Leibold, before former Bayern Munich forward Green volleyed over the bar of Bredlow’s goal.
It was Nürnberg who took the lead though. They caught Fürth cold on the counter, with Teuchert finding Ishak. He ran towards goal and when the time was right he slotted past Balázs Megyeri, who couldn’t quite get in position to stop the effort, for his fifth goal of the season, all coming in the last three games.
Fürth were the better side after the goal though, with Green having three big opportunities to level the score. One went wide, but the other two were kept out by ex-Hallescher FC keeper Bredlow, who dived to punch an effort a few minutes after his side had gone ahead, before he just got enough on an even better strike from the American to put it over.
Nürnberg though managed to hold onto the lead up until half time, and they also remained dangerous on the break. The best chance came through Möhwald, who struck just wide of Megyeri’s post after being found by Löwen.
Behrens seals win after late Fürth fightback
Green and the ever-impressing Bredlow continued where they had left off early in the second half. On the counter, Tolcay Cigerci sought out Green, but another good strike was again not enough to breach the Nürnberg goal with Bredlow again denying him. Yet another shot from Green soon followed, this time being blocked by a defender.
They had been under the pump, but Nürnberg would eventually go against the run of play to add extra insurance onto their lead. Werner, introduced only a few minutes earlier, and Behrens combined to find Teuchert. Megyeri tried to force him wide, but his efforts were in vain as the 20-year-old found a way past.
Philipp Hofmann, introduced at the break, almost responded but his shot was deflected and put wide by Bredlow. A couple of minutes later Nürnberg nearly added a third, which really would have flattered them, but Megyeri kept out the effort from Teuchert.
Then came a potentially game-changing moment. Referee Felix Zwayer pointed to the spot to penalise Bredlow for colliding with Hofmann as he looked to punch away the ball. Gjasula stepped up and converted the penalty, setting up a possible comeback for die Kleeblätter.
It wasn’t to be, despite them truly putting the jitters in Nürnberg’s back line. Green had another chance blocked by Bredlow, before Hofmann connected with a Gjasula only to fall to the same fate. One more big save followed, this time from Dursun. Once the pressure was relieved, Nürnberg looked content to keep it in the corner, but then they suddenly found a chance to make sure of the win, with Behrens taking it to seal the local bragging rights.