SpVgg Greuther Fürth put further space between themselves and 2. Bundesliga bottom side 1. FC Kaiserslautern with a crushing 4-0 win over FC St. Pauli.
After a slow start from the hosts, Maximilian Wittek and David Raum scored to put them 2-0 up at half-time. After St. Pauli had Bernd Nehrig sent off, Khaled Narey and Julian Green then hammered home the advantage to secure the three points.
The win puts the Shamrocks level on points with 16th-placed Dynamo Dresden, and four points clear of Kaiserslautern, after their defeat against Arminia Bielefeld.
Wittek and Raum put Shamrocks in control
After a 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers VfL Bochum last weekend, Fürth made three changes for this one, with Luaks Gugganig, Robert Hilbert and Green replacing Richárd Magyar, Tolcay Cirgerci and Serdar Dursun. St. Pauli slipped up at home again in a draw with SSV Jahn Regensburg, and made two changes. Mats Möller Daehli and Waldemar Sobota made way for Maurice Litka and the now fully-fit Aziz Bouhaddouz.
St. Pauli, without a win in five before kick-off, looked to have started the brighter of the two teams but failed to make the most of it. Their most promising moment came when Cenk Sahin played a ball over the top towards Sami Allaugi, however Fürth goalkeeper Sascha Burchert was out to get to it first.
The game only really got going once the hosts started to threaten the St. Pauli goal. Green and Patrick Sontheimer threatened, before two good chances for Narey. He beat Robin Himmelmann only to see one shot go wide, before a more accurate effort was kept out by the out-stretched foot of the St. Pauli keeper.
Fürth took the lead with just over half-an-hour gone. They built up from midfield, and Raum picked out Wittek’s run on the left. In space, the left-back struck it low and hard from the corner of the box, and the shot went in off Himmelmann, who was unable to keep it out.
They came close to a second when Levent Aycicek, on for the injured Ádám Pintér, had the ball in space on the right. He passed to Raum but he struck over. Nevertheless some poor defending in the air from St. Pauli presented him another chance just before the break. He took the ball forward and curling the ball past Himmelmann into the bottom corner.
Nehrig sending off precedes Fürth running away with contest
The second half started quietly, with the odd opportunity for the trailing St. Pauli. Johannes Flum, brought on at the break, has a shot blocked before Luca Zander’s attempt on the rebound was saved by Burchert. Flum then created a good chance for Sahin, who wrong-footed Wittek, but the scorer of the opener goal recovered to block the shot.
A spate of yellow cards followed for St. Pauli including, crucially, one for Nehrig. He had already been booked in the first half for a tackle from behind on Nerey as he was about to shoot. This time, the offence was on Green in the centre-circle, a needless foul that resulting in St. Pauli having to play the final half-an-hour with ten.
It was going to be an uphill battle for the visitors now, although a mistake from Wittek allowed Bouhaddouz a chance to pull one back, only for Burchert to come forward to save the shot at close range.
Otherwise, Fürth had their tails back up after a slow start following the resumption, with Aycicek and Narey both bringing saves out of Himmelmann. There wasn’t too much he could have done for the third goal though. Sontheimer went long to Narey, who beat his way past Zander and placed the ball past Himmelmann to put the game to bed.
They weren’t done there though. Green added his name to the list of scores as he and Raum exchanged passes, negating a crowd of St. Pauli defenders, before the American finished with ease. Substitutes Dursun and Daniel Steininger could have even made it five, with the former’s shot saved by Himmelmann and the latter only hitting the post.
Sunday’s other 2. Bundesliga results
1. FC Kaiserslautern 0-2 Arminia Bielefled (0-1, Voglsammer 27‘; 0-2, Kerschbaumer 90+4’)
Erzgebirge Aue 1-1 VfL Bochum (1-0, Fandrich 4‘; 1-1, Bastians 39‘)