A solid win against the friends of the blues
Home games against Nuremberg have their very own appeal. A crowded stadium with a lot of away fans, including a couple of supporters of the blue scum celebrating their long time friendship with the "Club", and in the end Borussia is winning. In fact, the last time we lost at home to Nuremberg was back in 1990, and also in away games we have lost only once since 1992. (On a cold December day in 2007, under the reign of Thomas Doll. Stories from a long forgotten world.) So, there were good reasons for being optimistic, and to make it short: It all went as expected.
And it was actually even better: Not only did Borussia beat Nuremberg 3:0 with a solid performance, but also the rest of Bundesliga played more or less in the way we would have wanted them to prior to matchday: Leverkusen remains on its losing streak and falls down to third place after a loss to Mainz at home, Mönchengladbach is still waiting for its first win in 2014 and draws in Brunswick, and the blues improved from their 1:6 against Real Madrid on Wednesday to a 1:5 in Munich. And even better, the day after Wolfsburg loses horribly to Hoffenheim. So chances are good that we make (at least) the third spot by the end of the season with Cup and Champions League still at hand. Could be worse.
Talking about the game itself, the only real critique might be that it took to long for us to score the first goal. Going to half time scoreless did not at all reflect how the game went until that point, as our team had a lot of good opportunities to come up with a score, including a free kick by Lewandowski from inside the box, after Nuremberg's keeper Schäfer (playing really well apart from this mistake, just like a lot of goalies do when visiting Dortmund...) had picked up a pass from his own team mate five meters in front of the goal. Closest to scoring in the first half was Nuremberg, however, when Pekhart was getting a free shot half an hour into the game, after a horrible mistake from Sokratis. Luckily, Weidenfeller and the right post cleared. The Greek defender was soon replaced by Friedrich, most likely not because of that mistake, but still due to the (hopefully minor) foot injury from the St. Petersburg game on Tuesday.
Pekhart's opportunity was Nuremberg's only real chance to score in this game, and soon after half time Borussia's superiority found its way onto the scoreboard: After a free kick by Sahin, Lewandowski's header (most likely from an offside position, but it was really close) was saved by Schäfer, but Hummels in his first game after the last injury was the first one to get to the reflected ball and scored easily. This goal somehow broke Nuremberg's defense, as Borussia came up with more high quality opportunities now. Mkhitaryan's shot soon after the first goal, was yet again saved by Schäfer, but in the 64th minute our team scored for the second time: After a throw-in on the left side, Mkhitaryan placed the ball to Lewandowski who scored from 16 meters. Another great game by the Polish international, who really cannot be blamed for his performances on the pitch. At least now, the game was in principle over, but Borussia scored yet another goal in the final minutes of the game: This time it was Mkhitaryan from inside the box, who received the ball after a beautiful play by Hofmann, who had replaced Aubameyang after 70 minutes.
Next week, a couple of international friendlies take place, until Borussia kicks off in Freiburg on Sunday afternoon. Let's hope, time is long enough for Sokratis to fully recover.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Sokratis (Friedrich, 36.), Hummels, Schmelzer - Sahin, Kehl - Aubameyang (Hofmann, 71.), Mkhitaryan (Jojic, 85.), Großkreutz - Lewandowski
1. FC Nuremberg: Schäfer - Angha, Petrak, Pinola (Pogatetz, 36.), Plattenhardt - Frantz (Stark, 78.) - Feulner (Campana, 61.), Kiyotake - Drmic, Pekhart, Hlousek
Goals: 1:0 Hummels (51., Lewandowski), 2:0 Lewandowski (64., Mkhitaryan), 3:0 Mkhitaryan (83., Hofmann)
Yellow Cards: Feulner (45.), Pogatetz (57.)
Referee: Christian Dingert
Attendance: 80,645 (sold out)