Nürnberg show comeback qualities
Having been 2-0 and 3-2 down, 1. FC Nürnberg never gave up and battled back to earn a deserved point in Bremen.
1. FC Nürnberg showed tremendous strength of character to twice come from behind to draw 3-3 with SV Werder Bremen away from home. Although the first three points of the season aren’t travelling back with them from northern Germany, Michael Wiesinger and his men can be proud of their battling performance.
8th minute: GOAL! Bremen take the lead after Garcia’s low cross into the box (intended for Hunt) is deflected in at the near post by Dabanli.
25th minute: SAVE! Raphael Schäfer makes a strong, diving save from Aaron Hunt after Nürnberg were once again found out of position after Garcia’s through ball.
34th minute: GOAL! Aaron Hunt has time on the right-hand side of the area to find Eljero Elia who side-foots strongly past Schäfer from just otuside the area to make it 2-0.
45th minute: GOAL FOR Nürnberg! A sloppy piece of defending in the box and Hiroshi Kiyotake, given enough room by Santiago Garcia, volleys into the far corner to give FCN hope just before the interval.
49th minute: CHANCE! A mazy run from Kiyotake ends with the ball falling at substitute Drmic’s feet. The striker turns and fires a low effort just wide of the far post.
53rd minute: GOAL FOR Nürnberg! The pressure was building for the visitors and a good, low cross from Tomas Pekhart finds an unmarked Josip Drmic at the back post who slides in to equalise for Nürnberg!
55th minute: SAVE! Instantly Raphael Schäfer is called into action and saves well from an Ekici header.
58th minute: CHANCE! Bremen nearly retake the lead but Marvin Plattenhardt clears Lukimya’s header off the line.
66th minute: GOAL! The ball is half cleared by Nürnberg and Elia connects perfectly on the half-volley from well outside the area to restore the home side’s lead in emphatic fashion.
68th minute: CHANCE! Drmic breaks well on the wing and finds Kiyotake in the middle but the Japan star can’t connect properly.
70th minute: GOAL FOR Nürnberg! Kiyotake plays a superb ball through the defence and Adam Hlousek runs on to curl the ball past Mielitz and draw Michael Wiesinger’s men level again!
73rd minute: CHANCE! Nürnberg nearly take the lead for the first time in the game but Pekhart’s free header is easy for Mielitz.
80th minute: CHANCE! Plattenhardt crossed from the right and Pekhart’s glancing header is well saved by Mielitz. From the resulting corner, Drmic’s turn and volley kisses the crossbar.
Once again, 1. FC Nürnberg started the game too slowly, allowing the home side the chance to control the game and the tempo. Even after the opening goal and a period of relatively stability, Der Club struggled to impose themselves or launch any attacks in the face of a determined home side.
Kiyotake’s goal at the end of the first half was a lifeline though and provided the visitors with a chance to get back in the game in the second half. That seemed to be the key change in the game as FCN started the second half in blistering form and were rewarded with an equaliser.
What Nürnberg struggled to do was push on and look for their third goal, in turn allowing Bremen the chance to wrestle back control, which they did and made the most of by retaking the lead. Nürnberg equalised four minutes later, almost as if they had needed to concede to spur them back into action. Having found their third goal, Nürnberg became the better side and were the more likely to find a winner. It’s a point they didn’t want but after the game, they can be very proud of.
Personnel and tactics
With the injured Daniel Ginczek unavailable, Tomas Pekhart led the line. Per Nilsson (stomach bug) was replaced by Berkay Dabanli and Alexander Esswein, hoping to improve on his finishing after the Dortmund game, started ahead of Mike Frantz in a 4-3-3 system.
Josip Drmic came on at the break for Alexander Esswein. Mike Frantz came on for Niklas Stark just before the 70th minute. With Drmic’s arrival, the club changed to a 4-4-2 formation in the hope of winning more possession from midfield.
Michael Wiesinger: “We weren’t in the game in the first half and gave two goals away. If we hadn’t have conceded those two crackers then maybe we could have won the game. We had to replace three players today and you could see that it took us a while to get into the game. We made too many mistakes at the start.”
Josip Drmic: “The manager wanted us to be more attacking after the break. We always looked for a way through on goal. We fought hard and played with real heart, passion and desire. That’s what earned us a point. There wasn’t much to see from us in the first half, but we’re tough players and showed that we wanted it. We woke up after the break.”
It was the first start of the 2013/14 Bundesliga season for both Tomas Pekhart and Alexander Esswein.