Allianz Arena, Munich - TSV 1860 stretched their run of unbeaten games to four with a 3-0 victory over Eintracht Braunschweig (EBS). Goals from Stefan Aigner, Djorde Rakic and Benny Lauth ensured the points stayed in Munich and TSV leapfrogged EBS in the table.
Great work by Rakic up front meant that Kevin Volland was able to provide for Aigner to slot home after a nervous 32 minutes of the game had been played. In the second half Rakic took full advantage of the space he was gifted and blasted home unmarked from 15 yards, two minutes before the hour mark. Rakic then turned provider for Lauth who gladly flicked the ball in at the front post from close range with 65 minutes on the clock.
It was far from a dominant performance by the home side and a flattering score line. For large spells in the first half TSV were on the back foot and were let off for their poor defending by an even worse attacking display by the visitors. The second half marked a clear improvement from 1860 who began to exert their authority on the game.
Going forward 1860 were the more effective of the two sides but rode their luck early on. "We were lucky that Braunschweig didn't score in the first half. They had too many shots on our goal, we were lucky to win today," captain Daniel Bierofka remarked after the game.
Aigner was also honest in his assessment of the game despite the winning margin. "I'm ashamed we played disastrously and won 3-0 and I´m happy about it."
In a business that's all about results there is little to complain about. Even though the Sechzig defence were pulled apart and struggled to hold their shape, their determination and desire to be first to the ball was evident. Schindler and Necat Aygün playing in central defence were strong enough to cope whilst Braunschweig chanced their arm with pop shots from outside the area that seldom found the target.
For the second home game in a row Gabor Kiraly was alert to everything. He put in another standout performance between the sticks and recorded his first clean sheet at home since mid-September.
Coach Reiner Maurer praised his squad for their goals but also highlighted the need for defensive reinforcements. "Braunschweig played pretty well but we made the goals and we played good counter-attacking football. We showed great fight and spirit and that was exciting for the supporters. Schindler had a solid game but sometimes he makes mistakes. We don't have many defenders so maybe we need a new one?"
Lauth was pleased to end his goal scoring dry spell. "Today we also were lucky and smarter than Braunschweig. I was lucky to score the goal but I'm happy to have scored it before the winter break. To win in Karlsruhe will be important for us now."
The last game before the winter break is away to struggling Karlsruhe who are second bottom in the table with only three wins so far this season. Woe betide them for underestimating their lowly counterparts but they should expect no less than three points to finish the year off in style.
Dennis Müller contributed to this article.