Hannes Wolf's VfB Stuttgart kept the pace with 2. Bundesliga leaders, Eintracht Braunschweig, as goals from Takuma Asano and a double from Simon Terodde gave die Roten a 3:1 victory against 1. FC Nürnberg.
It didn't take long for Stuttgart to take the lead, as Terodde swept home with the game a little under two minutes old. The former VfL Bochum man doubled his own, and his sides, tally mid way through the half with a instinctive snapshot from the penalty spot.
Kevin Möhwald gave Nürnberg hope late on, in a game that saw der Club hit the post on two separate occasions, but Asano made sure the three points would remain in Baden-Württemburg late on.
Terodde on hand twice in opening forty-five minutes
The game began in dramatic fashion, and VfB Stuttgart had the opening goal within the opening two minutes. Carlos Mané had picked up the scraps in the middle, before playing in Arsenal loanee, Takuma Asano. Rewarding Hannes Wolf's faith in the Japanese international, after returning him to starting eleven, Asano squared the ball to an unmarked Simon Terodde; who swept the ball past a hapless Thorsten Kirschbaum.
Dubbed the clash between the 2. Bundesliga top scorers, Terodde and Nürnberg's Guido Burgstaller, before the game, the Stuttgart striker had marked his ninth of the season in what has been a superb run of form that has seen five in his last four. For the time being however, the edge still with eleven goal Austrian and former Cardiff City man, Burgstaller.
Mišo Brečko's suspension in the 2-2 draw against Würzburger Kickers due to an accumulation of yellow cards, had gave der Club manager Alois Schwartz a selection dilemma. With no other recognised established right back, the former SV Sandhausen manager was forced to hand 19-year-old, Patrick Kammerbauer, his first 2. Bundesliga start for the Franconian club. Kammerbauer however, had been exploited by die Schwaben's attack in the build up to the opening goal; with Mané's through ball coming in the space where the young defender should've been.
In what was a largely disappointing half by Schwartz's side, Tobias Kempe nearly tied the scores with a tremendous thirty yard effort. Only the post prevented the former SV Darmstadt 98 from getting his first goal for 1. FC Nürnberg, since his summer switch from Hessen. Der Club also had a shout for a penalty, after Edgar Salli and Benjamin Pavard tangled in the box. Referee Doctor Jochen Drees, however, waved any Nürnberg appeals away.
The Japanese, Asano, had a chance to extend die Roten, Stuttgart's, lead; however the ball inched just wide of Kirschbaum's post, after some quick thinking by the forward. However where Asano had failed, Terodde went one step further and moved only one goal behind his opposite in the Nürnberg ranks, Burgstaller, as he doubled his and his sides tally for the evening.
Once again, Carlos Mané was archetypal. The Portuguese was one of die Roten's stand out performers and didn't disappoint with his delivery after holding off László Sepsi, leaving the Romanian in a heap. Alexandru Maxim's miscue presented a golden opportunity for the 28-year-old, Terodde, who duly obliged and lashed the ball home from twelve yards.
The €2.5 million acquisition of last seasons 2. Bundesliga torjägerkannone, or top scorer, Terodde made many sit back and take notice of VfB Stuttgart's ambitions for the upcoming campaign; as die Schwaben look to return to the Bundesliga at the first time of asking. As things stand, the former VfL Bochum man is proving his worth in goals.
The second half was a much more tamer event that the first had been. That being said, in the space of a few minutes mid way through the half both Nürnberg and Stuttgart had goals chalked off by Drees. On both occasions it appeared the official from Münster, may have harsh on either side.
Burgstaller first diverted a wayward shot goalbound and beyond Mitchell Langerak, but was adjudged offside. Marcin Kamiński in the meantime saw his headed goal disallowed by Drees for an alleged foul on Kirschbaum. Later inspection showed that Burgstaller wasn't offside, whilst Kamiński's was harsh to say the least on the Polish defender.
As the saying goes, when your luck is out, it's out. And this was certainly proving the case for Schwartz's luckless, Nürnberg. After Kempe had hit the post, and Burgstaller had one wrongly chalked off, der Club once again hit Langerak's upright. It was Cedric Teuchert's turn as the 19-year-old, who had scored in the 2-0 win against Union Berlin, saw his guided header slam against the post before flashing across the face of goal.
Möhwald sets up grandstand finish
As it was, Nürnberg would finally get their deserved goal and set up a grandstand final ten minutes at the Mercedes Benz Arena. Kevin Möhwald kept his head and used Kamiński as a shield to bend the ball round the former Lech Poznan man and leave Langerak unsighted as the ball rolled into the bottom right hand corner. Möhwald a familiar face for Alois Schwartz; the pair having spent time together in Saxony at Rot-Weiß Erfurt.
With the clock running down, Schwartz turned to Georg Margreitter as a unorthodox striker in a last desperate bid to salvage a point from a game that they could have potentially - if luck had been on their side - had all three.
Yet it wasn't to be and VfB Stuttgart rounded off the game with the final kick, as Asano finally got his goal. After spurning a number of chances throughout, the little Japanese forward made no mistake when played in by Mané and swept the ball under an onrushing Kirschbaum. His second in European football, whilst on a year long loan from the English capital.
Shortly after, Doctor Jochen Drees ending proceedings on a night were VfB Stuttgart kept the pace with leaders Eintracht Braunschweig, whilst Nürnberg lost their six game unbeaten run. A trip to Erzgebirge Aue awaits die Roten, whilst Sandhausen travel to the Stadion Nürnberg next weekend.