Greuther Fürth stuns the local rival and wins the derby
Michael Kollner surprisingly sent Alexander Fuchs on the right wing back position, replacing suspended Valentini. His team acted in a 3-3-2-2 offensive system, regrouping in 5-3-2 behind the ball. Also surprising was the attacking duo, with Palacios Martinez and Zrelak. As expected, The Club kidnapped the ball, but couldn’t find solutions in the opposite half. So, it developed a slow paced game, with more possession for the hosts, but most of the action took part between the dangerous areas. They tried to increase the pace on the left side, where Leibold accelerated past Hilbert several times, but couldn’t find the optimal solution. The attacks on the right side were very weak, as Fuchs couldn’t provide offensive impulses.
The guests played in a 5-2-2-1 or 5-2-1-2 defensive shape, with light pressing in the opposite half, which became very aggressive in their own half. With this shape they managed to congest the central area in front of their penalty box and often created a 4v3 advantage, blocking all angles for attacking passes. Fürth’s main offensive strategy was based on fast switching and long balls on the fast front trio. After a quick transition from defense to attack they could take an early lead, but Reese’s shot missed the target. During their rare positional attacks, Fürth was very flexible, trying a 3-3-2-2 shape, with Wittek rarely venturing forward, as Gjasula frequently appeared on the left wing. They couldn’t find solutions either, as the distance to the forward line was big, so they played several long balls up front.
Nürnberg struggled to find space in the dense guests’ defense, even tried with long passes, without result. Fürth managed possession for several minutes in the opposite half at the end of the first half, without being dangerous, though. This was close to backfire. After a harmless played corner kick, FCN started a counter attack on the right side and created their first dangerous attack, as the guests’ defense failed twice to clear the ball from good positions.
Unchanged, both teams started the second half. And it was the guests to score after a simple attack – long pass from halfway line, Löwen stumbles in the duel with Narey and the latter scored from the edge of the area. The hosts became very unsafe after conceding, while the guests were more offensive and more aggressive. With much better morale, Fürth played several attacks in a 2-4-4 formation, with Gugganig also pushing forward and regaining possession in the opposite half. Fürth had further good opportunities to increase the lead, as Nürnberg had no answer and only tried long balls forward, without chance against Maloca or Caligiuri.
Kollner’s team couldn’t increase the pace and played without a central forward from the 76th minute. Margreitter was sent forward to act as a target man for high passes, but The Club only created two half chances. As the hosts risked more and more in the final minutes, free space was left behind for the guests’ counter attacks. Fürth managed two fast attacks and the last one was capitalized, after another Löwen error.
6th min: Gugganig and Gjasula move right and open the space for Caligiuri to send a vertical pass from his own half. Reese drops between the lines to receive the ball. Narey runs from center to the left side, trying to free Reese’s path. The striker dribbles past Löwen, then past Ewerton, but shoots wide.
45th min: Fuchs runs into space on the right side and crosses inside the box. Caligiuri is better positioned but losses possession against Behrens. A quick pass back for Möhwald’s shot. Maloca blocks, but has no reaction to remove the danger, so the ball jumps to Palacios. Although Zrelak created space for the shot, the finish is extremely poor from a great position.
49th min: Wittek sends a long pass from halfway line to the edge of the area. Löwen seems better positioned but cannot clear and injures himself when lending after the aerial duel. Narey thanks him and shoots for 0-1. Ewerton is too far and cannot backup his colleague.
50th min: Similar scene at Fürth goal. Just after restart, Löwen sends a long pass. Zrelak wins the aerial duel with Wittek, but shoots wide from a promising position.
57th min: Narey moves right to receive the ball, Behrens cannot stop him; he dribbles past Löwen without much effort and runs with the ball in the free space. Ewerton is too late, so Narey has enough time to prepare his right cross in front of the goal where Reese and Ernst were waiting. With a huge effort, Fuchs, placed between the two strikers, manages to clear the cross.
65th min: Wittek has space to start a counter attack, as Fuchs is in an advanced position. Narey drops between the lines and receives the pass. He runs at full speed between Margreitter and Ewerton. Leibold stays close to Green and doesn’t see Hilbert coming unmarked. Narey crosses to the 11m spot, but Hilbert sends over a ball which had 0-2 written all over it – an incredible miss.
83rd min: The last important chance for the hosts. Leibold enjoys much time on the ball and crosses from a deep position. Wittek is in a 1v2 situation against Behrens and Werner, but the later head over the target.
89th min: Löwen tries to win a duel with Aycicek, but the ball jumps at Narey. Leibold wins the duel in the first phase, but Hilbert immediately appears and regains possession for the guests. He passes to Aycicek in a central position, Bredlow saves the first shot and also Steininger’s rebound – world class parades by Nürnberg’s goalkeeper. Löwen finally clears.
93rd min: The hosts play forward a free kick close to the central line. After Fürth’s defense won the aerial duel, Gjasula tries to send the ball as far as possible from the hot area. His clearance actually becomes an assist, as Steininger puts Löwen under pressure, forces him blunder, and runs one on one with Bredlow. He shoots under the crossbar (0-2) and seals the win for his side.