Borussia Dortmund moved up to second in the Bundesliga with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Nürnberg at the Signal-Iduna Park on Friday night, just 9 points behind leaders Bayern Munich, although the Munich club play Stuttgart on Sunday. The win continued Nürnberg’s 22 year streak without a win in Dortmund.
The two clubs fought out a 1-1 draw in September and the Dortmund outfit could not afford to drop more points if they are to have a say in challenging Bayern all the way. Dortmund named a strong side with Reus and Blaszczykowski supporting Lewandowski and Nürnberg fans were happy to see goalkeeper Raphael Schäfer back after suffering a broken nose against Hamburg last week.
As you would expect, Dortmund were quick out the blocks and created early chances, a Marco Reus free kick was headed wide by Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl for the first opportunity of the game and then Blaszczykowski got clear down the right hand side before pulling the ball back for fellow Pole, Lewandowski, who shot agonizingly wide.
Dortmund fell asleep and a cross was whipped in from the right hand side for Pekhart to head straight at Weidenfeller, the Dortmund defence thought the danger was over before Weidenfeller pulled off another save, this time a fantastic low stop to deny Feulner.
Controversy was up next as Timo Gebhart was adjudged to have fouled Lukasz Piszczek inside the penalty area, but replays shown there was little to no contact but that didn’t stop Blaszczykowski stepping up nonchalantly to slide the ball past Schäfer o make it 1-0 to Dortmund. The Nürnberg defenders were incensed at the decision and they had every right to be.
Blaszczykowski scored his second of the night two minutes later after brilliant work from Mario Götze down the right, dropping his shoulder and getting an inch on his marker before delivering a low cross that leaving Blaszczykowski to slot home unmarked. The cries of “KUBA” rang around the ground from the Dortmund faithful. Nürnberg’s defending was terrible for the goal, the penalty decision obviously still affecting them.
Dortmund spent most of the first half camped in the Nürnberg side of the pitch and another chance went begging after Piszczek was out through by Gotze, and the Polish right backs cheeky lob was saved magnificently by Schafer from yards out.
A great chance for Nuremburg to go in only 2-1 down at half time was wasted, Feulner flashing a shot wide of Weidenfeller’s goal after terrible defending from a corner by Piszczek. Lewandowski had thought he had wrapped the game up just before half time as he was put through by Piszczek, the striker lashing home only to see the linesman’s flag raised.
With Nürnberg needing a miracle at half time, Jürgen Klopp would have been delighted with how the first half went, and the Dortmund club came out for the second half in search of more goals.
However it was the away side who had the next clear cut opportunity as Pekhart again testing Weidenfeller, but the strikers attempt not really troubling the goalkeeper too much.
A tremendous double save from Schäfer kept out Götze around the hour mark, the young midfielder failing to convert Robert Lewandowskis’ cross, if the tables were turned you’d fancy the striker to bury one of those chances.
Blaszczykowski, with a hat trick on his mind, tried an effort shortly after when team mates were in far better positions but the match ball was not to be his as he failed to score.
Nürnberg made the first change as Robert Mak replaced the only player from the away side to trouble the Dortmund goal in Feulner. Kehl then played Reus in with a delightful ball, but although the forwards effort was good enough to beat Schäfer, it also beat the post too. Blaszczykowski got a standing ovation as a double substitution saw the midfielder replaced by on loan Nuri Sahin with 76 minutes gone. Sebastian Kehl was also replaced by Sven Bender.
Nürnberg then made their final changes of the night as Sebastien Polter replaces Thomas Pekhart, and Timo Gebhart was replaced by Mike Frantz. Again it was Dortmund who created the next chance as Ilkay Gündogans’ fierce drive from 30 yards was kept out by the impressive Schäfer, a candidate for man of the match and easily Nürnberg’s best player.
Dortmund felt the game was won at this stage and didn’t press as they once did, and they thought they were in for a third goal of the night as Götze played through Piszczek but the defender couldn’t quite set up Lewandowski as the striker headed wide. The game did finally get its third goal a moment later though, as Lewandowski finally put the game to bed after a lovely ball from Reus.
Moritz Leitner replaced Gündogan for the last few minutes, as Dortmund impressively despatched of Nürnberg to keep up the heat on leaders Bayern Munich. Dortmund will be hoping that Stuttgart can upset Bayern on Sunday to make the rest of the season more interesting as they keep up their assault on home and foreign soil.
Klopps’ men will be happy with the way they went about their victory, Nürnberg were happy to hear the final whistle.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller – Piszczek, Santana, Hummels, Schmelzer – Gündogan, Kehl – Götze, Blaszczykowski, Reus – Lewandowski
Subs: Langerak, Bender, Leitner, Sahin, Grosskreutz, Kirch, Schieber
Nürnberg: Schäfer – Klose, Nilsson, Pinola, Chandler – Feulner, Balitsch, Kiyotake, Gebhart – Simons, Pekhart
Subs: Rakovsky, Polter, Mak, Frantz, Cohen, Plattenhardt, Esswein
Header courtesy of dapd
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