1. FC Nürnberg kept up the pressure on 2. Bundesliga leaders Fortuna Düsseldorf with a convincing 4-1 win over Erzgebirge Aue.
A stunning strike from Kevin Möhwald lit up a dull first half before double the lead less than a minute into the second half.
Patrick Erras and Tobias Werner then scored, with Cebio Soukou’s consolation unlikely to ease the pressure on Aue coach Hannes Drews.
Möhwald firecracker breaks Aue resistance
With leaders Fortuna Düsseldorf in action at the same time against SV Sandhausen, Nürnberg would have been to keep to maintain or even improve upon the three-point deficit they had on them before kick-off. They were unchanged from last weekend’s win against 1. FC Union Berlin. Aue, with just one win in nine, made two changes following their 3-1 defeat to Eintracht Braunschweig. Dominik Wydra and Mario Kvesic replaced Fabian Kalig and Dimitrij Nazarov in the starting line-up.
Aue, to their credit, kept things very tight for most of the first half, frustrating their hosts and making the game a disappointing spectacle. Most of what came into the Aue box was taken by Martin Männel, including a rare shot from Eduard Löwen, whose strike from outside the box took a deflection and landing in the arms of the Aue goalkeeper.
The Violas couldn’t do any better when they were able to foray forward. A ball from Clemens Fandrich had a big too much wait on it for Pascal Köpke, whilst a well-placed free-kick from Kvesic found no-one other than the hands of Fabian Bredlow in the Nürnberg goal.
It was going to take something special to beat Aue’s five-man defence, Möhwald would be the one to provide it. Enrico Valentini and Federico Palacios Martínez combined on the right, with the former RB Leipzig man putting the ball in the middle. Möhwald charged in and hit the ball first time with such velocity that Martin Männel never had a chance of keeping the ball out.
Nürnberg pile the pressure on the Violas
The rest of the first half passed without much further incident, but the second started with a bang as Nürnberg and Möhwald doubled their goal tallies for the evening. Mikael Ishak disposed Kvesic well inside the Aue half, and a few slick passes later Palacios Martínez and Möhwald were sharing a one-two, the former allowed the latter to run on to it and place it over the grounded Männel to score.
Aue looked to go forward more after that, but the closest they came to reducing the parity was when Malcolm Cacutalua headed over from a corner. Otherwise Nürnberg slowly went looking for their third, with an Ishak shot after a good move saved by Männel before a Möhwald ball intended for Tim Leibold found the Aue keeper.
Soon after, the second of three consecutive corners for the hosts saw Hanno Behrens have a header put over the bar by Männel, although it might have been heading over. From the other side Valentini then whipped in the third, finding Erras whose header this time could not be kept out by Männel, and it was 3-0.
Just as the game looked up, Aue reminded Der Club they were still there. Substitute Ridge Munsy recovered after giving the ball away to find Soukou in a ridiculous amount of space in the Nürnberg box, and he struck past Bredlow to pull a goal back. The home side soon restored their three-goal advantage though, as Werner, moments after replacing two-goal Möhwald, got on the scoresheet himself, striking in after behind found in behind by Palacios Martínez.
It was all over bar the shouting after that, with Nürnberg tightening their grip on second place and keeping up with Düsseldorf after their narrow win over Sandhausen. A win for at least one of SV Darmstadt 98 and SpVgg Greuther Fürth later in the weekend would though push Aue into the bottom three, with Drews’s position likely to be under the microscope after this limp defeat.
Friday’s other 2. Bundesliga result
Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-0 SV Sandhausen (1-0, Hoffmann 2’)