1. FC Nürnberg – MSV Duisburg review

In the first half the action mostly took place in midfield, without much pace in attack. Both teams were 100% efficient, using all three chances to score, with Nurnberg leading 2-1. Things changed at the beginning of the second half, Duisburg started with more determination and could’ve equalized shortly after the break. Nurnberg quickly got things under control, scored again with their third opportunity and calmly defended until the end.

The unpredictable Kollner changed the system again, using a flexible 4-3-3. Mowahld was unavailable with short notice muscular problems, so Lowen took his role. Nurnberg started with early pressing, not offering the opponent time on the ball, forced them to quick decisions and risky passes. In the offensive phase, Nurnberg acted in a 3-1-3-3 shape, with Lowen at the left of Ewerton, so they could outnumber Duisbuirg’s attacking duo. The first pale pressing wave was not a problem; the ball could be easily sent to the fullbacks, or to Behrens, who was almost always a passing option. The left side was active at the first 2 goals, with Werner involved each time, but after that both wingers were rarely playable. Salli moved a few times in a central position to receive balls, but he was pretty quiet. When defending, the shape changed to 4-1-4-1, with Werner and Salli covering the wings.

Duisburg replied with the usual 4-4-2 system, with Klotz and Blomeyer replacing half of the defense (Hajri and Bomheuer). In midfield, Frode played the defensive role, while Schnellhardt also had offensive responsibilities. Duisburg couldn’t get forward in the initial phase, visibly disturbed by the high pressing of the hosts, made defensive mistakes, easily lost the ball and were 2-0 down after less than 25 minutes. In total command of the game, Nurnberg slowed down, offering the guests more possession. Tashchy always tried to drop deep to receive the ball and open space in the hosts’ defense, but usually no defender followed him, so this was without effect. Stoppelkamp moved several times unmarked to the center, where his colleagues were outnumbered by Nurnberg’s central midfielders, or even to the right. Only the latter movement was efficient once, when Duisburg scored, but there was also a huge goalkeeper mistake.

In the second half Nurnberg played in a 4-4-2 system (both defensive and offensive), mirroring MSV’s system. Lowen acted as the second striker, while Behrens had almost only defensive duties. Duisburg started with more determination, more offensive minded and also the full backs ventured forward. The Zebras had a good chance, shot from Schnellhardt very close to the goal. The Club immediately balanced the game, the new system helping to better close down the opponents. They tried to attack on the wings, with Salli or Werner, but their control of the ball or pass was not the best. Behrens’ position close to Erras provided the defensive stability needed to keep the result. Nurnberg made it 3-1 with Lowen’s dream shot from long range, after Flekken cleared a corner kick. Duisburg tried to throw everything in attack with the same moves as in the first half, but without being dangerous from positional attacks. They were very dangerous for the last time from a corner kick, which Leibold off the line. That was also the last notable action of the match.


Key scenes

8th min: Wolze loses a duel against Behrens close to the center line, Schnellhardt is too far to intervene, Nurnberg accelerates, moves the ball to Lowen, unmarked, as there was no time for Duisburg to retreat. First touch pass to Werner, whose cross is blocked by Klotz. The ball jumps again at Werner, who is in a harmless position, with the back at the goal, but Klotz makes an unnecessary foul. Penalty kick, Behrens scores and that’s a dream start for Nurnberg.

23rd min: Bredlow starts the game with a free kick. Behrens is initially placed in a half right position. He moves to the left without anyone following him. The ball is played to the left side from the keeper, Werner wins the head duel with Klotz, Palacios drops to receive the ball and Blomeyer follows him, leaving his defensive position. Frode tries to help his colleague, but he is too late. Palacios is first at the ball, turns and passes to Behrens, who runs in the freed space and scores for 2-0.

41st min: The ball is at Frode, close to the midfield line in Duisburg’s half, preparing to start the offensive action. Engin moves central with Leibold following him, clearing the right flank for Klotz’s forward run and signals to Frode where to pass to. Meantime, Stoppelkamp moves from left to right between Nurnberg’s lines, without marking and arrives at the edge of the penalty box. At this time Klotz already received the pass and has space for the run. Leibold leaves Engin and goes back to block Klotz, but it’s too late. The ball is at Stoppelkamp, Ewerton doesn’t have the positioning to attack him, so he turns and shots. Bredlow has all the time in the world to intervene, but he probably miscalculates it off target, but the ball is in – 2-1.

49th min: Stoppelkamp’s shot from the edge of the area is blocked by Behrens, the second attempt is made by Schnellhardt from ~20m, very close to the right post.

71st min: right corner kick for The Club, Valentini crosses in front of the goal. Flekken is first at the ball and clears it outside the area at Lowen’s feet. As Engin and Klotz are desperately trying to block him, he shots with the first touch and scores a dream goal – 3-1.

75th min: Blomeyer is under pressure, tries to clear a long ball sent from Nurnberg’s half, but he blunders and loses the ball. Lowen thanks him and sends Zrelak in the space behind Blomeyer with a one touch pass, but the Slovak cannot beat Flekken.

79th min: Right corner kick for MSV, Schnellhardt crosses in front of the goal, Frode jumps highest and sends the ball to the second post, where Lowen leaves Nauber free, but his header is cleared off the line by Leibold.

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