Sunday afternoon saw two former Bundesliga sides clash as both looked for vital victories. 1. FC Nürnburg were the hosts as they earned a fourth straight victory against a Hannover 96 side that were looking to bounce back from a disappointingly defeat last weekend, but fell to a 2-0 loss instead.
Nürnberg needed a win in order to leap up the table and a fourth win in a row would have seen them jump up into the top eight following a slow start to the season. Hannover on the other hand have had a good start to their year and a win would've got them back into second place and keep the pressure on league leaders, Eintracht Braunschweig.
Der Club get off to a flyer
The hosts started the game very well, they set the tempo high and they were rewarded quickly. In the fourth minute Nürnberg made the first move in taking the lead. Kevin Möhwald created space for himself and this allowed him to switch the play out to Tobias Kempe, as the winger twisted and turned to tease the Hannover full back and his effort forced Samuel Radlinger into a save. The young 'keeper failed to keep hold of the shot and this allowed Tim Matavž the chance to stroke home the rebound.
Hannover responded well to going behind and they applied some good pressure. The away side came agonisingly close to levelling the scoring when a corner came out to Sebastian Maier. He managed to keep his effort low and it flew through bodies and headed for the bottom left corner, unfortunately for him Thorsten Kirschbaum reacted brilliantly to save.
The away side weren't far away from scoring soon after the Maier chance, this time it was from a freekick 25 yards out. Edgar Prib stood up to take and his effort was lifted over the wall and just curled just wide of the bottom right corner.
As the game ticked past the 20-minute mark Nürnberg doubled their lead despite being on the back foot since opening the scoring. Ondrej Petrak won possession in midfield, Matavž then laid the ball out to the right to Möhwald and the midfielder whipped in a terrific ball towards the back post and an unmarked Guido Burgstaller was picked out wonderfully to powerfully head past Radlinger.
The second goal was one of the last bits of action in the first half as Hannover struggled to gain momentum and Nürnberg were happy to control the tempo of the game. Before the break however Hannover almost carved open a chance, Prib slipped the ball through to Miiko Albornoz and the Chilean was denied a shot thanks to Even Hovland's excellent tackle to intervene.
At half time Hannover made changes to bring on Martin Harnik and Felipe and the changes almost paid off immediately. Two minutes into the half Prib put in a lovely teasing cross from the left and it was Harnik on the end of it, yet somehow Kirschbaum managed to deny Harnik with a wonderful reaction save.
Hannover struggled for a way back into the game
The second half failed to provide much entertaining goal mouth action as Nürnberg remained strong defensively and restricted Hannover, who were struggling to create any chances.
Before the game entered the last fifteen minutes however Hannover were given the chance to get themselves back onto the game. Prib was at the heart of the action for Hannover again and his pass into Felix Klaus lead to Mišo Brečko bringing down the Hannover man. Miiko Albornoz stepped up for his side and he struck it well to the bottom left, unfortunately Kirschbaum matched the effort and wonderfully flicked the penalty onto the post and out for a corner.
As the game approached the end Hannover started to try their luck from range and one shot in particular caused problems for Nürnberg Salif Sané was given time and his effort from range was flying towards the top right corner, however Kirschbaum was there once more to provide a great save.
That was the last of the action as Nürnberg managed to see out the 2-0 victory, keeping back to back clean sheets and extending their win streak to four games, this also meant they jump up to eighth place. As for Hannover that's now back to back defeats for them and stay in fifth place.