Bayern and Nuremberg split 1-1 in Derby
easyCredit Stadium, Nuremberg - FC Bayern München came into the match against 1.FC Nürnberg on a roll, but left the derby match reeling.
Thomas Müller scored early the match, taking a wonderful through-ball from Arjen Robben, made a move past a defender and finished in the area four minutes in.
But Nuremberg's Christian Eigler intercepted a bad pass from Munich keeper Thomas Kraft and chipped it into the net in the 60th minute to even the match 1-1. Further chances by both clubs were unsuccessful until the final whistle and Bavaria had its second draw of the weekend.
"Nuremberg gave us more pressure in the second half and they shot the ball once and scored," said Bayern coach Louis van Gaal. "This is not the first time we've given up a 1-0 lead, I am very disappointed."
"We lost our confidence giving up the early lead," countered Nuremberg coach Dieter Hecking. "But in the 2nd half, we had more flow and deserved the draw, we are satisfied."
The draw drops Bayern down to 4th as Hannover beat Mainz 2-0. And that match paid off for Nuremberg, keeping the Frankens close for a Europa League berth for next season.
Bayern started the match on the attack, trying to create chances. And it paid off early. Robben made a run down the far side, changed directions towards the middle of pitch and spotted Müller streaking into the middle. The Dutchman found the German with precision to create the score.
The early goal was the only mistake by the Nuremberg defense. The rest of the match they held their rivals to a few runs but nothing real serious. And their offense started gaining confidence but it didn't add to a score. Even when Kraft made an error, coming out of his area to approach a ball, Bayern were lucky it lead to only a corner. But it was a omen of things to come.
After the break, van Gaal took out ineffective Danijel Pranjic and Toni Kroos for Diego Contento and Anatoly Tymoschuck to take away any momentum the hosts had. But 'Der Club' were the most active in the second half, creating opportunities and stoping Mario Gomez, Robben and the rest of the Munich attack.
At the hour mark, Nuremberg finally cashed in on their stronger play. Kraft played a free ball on the near side, hoping to pass it to a teammate, when Eigler stepped in front and chipped the ball into a waiting, empty net.
"These goals happen when the goalkeeper doesn't play the ball correctly," goal scorer Eigler commented. "We are happy with the point and hope to earn a Europa League berth."
It was not until the final whistle that the match was over. Robben was effective throughout, and Franck Ribéry teamed up many times to bring forth an attack, but Gomez could not finish.
Close the end, Nuremberg thought they had the winning goal, but the play was called off.
"It's a step back for us as we lost two points," said Müller who was later substitued for Miroslav Klose. "We controlled the match and it's not enough to go home with a draw."
Bayern return to the Allianz Arena on Sunday for a match against Bayern Leverkusen that will decide their finish to the season. Leverkusen sit 6 points clear with a game in hand and solid position to finish second. The Reds hope to finish 3rd and qualify for the Champions League next season.
Munich will have to play this pivotal match without Robben who had words with the referees after the match and earned a red card. He is disqualified from the lineup, and his playmaking will have to be made up from someone else.
"The red card will play a major role in our next match," said van Gaal about Robben's disqualification. "We need a player like Robben and it's a shame we lost him."
Nuremberg travel to Kaiserslautern on Saturday hoping to keep pace with Mainz.