Nurnberg hold Bayern Munich
Nurnberg became only the second team all season to take anything off Bayern Munich with a spirited 1-1 derby draw.
Last Updated: 17/11/12 5:22pm
Nurnberg became only the second team all season to take anything off Bayern Munich with a spirited 1-1 draw in a Bavarian derby at the Frankenstadion.
Mario Mandzukic gave Bayern a flying start with the opening goal in the third minute but Nurnberg did not panic and fought their way back into the game with former Bayern midfielder Markus Feulner levelling early in the second half.
Nurnberg even had chances to win the game before losing Timo Gebhart to a red card in the 76th minute, at which stage they got everybody behind the ball and defended successfully for a point.
The 185th Bavarian derby started with a surprise as Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes left his captain Philipp Lahm on the bench along with Javi Martinez, probably with a view to the Valencia game in midweek.
Mandzukic got the nod to lead the attack with Claudio Pizarro on the bench and no sign of Mario Gomez, who made his comeback from an ankle injury in a friendly match in midweek.
It was a decision which Heynckes got spot-on once again as the Croatia striker gave Bayern the lead after just three minutes, scoring his ninth Bundesliga goal of the season.
Anatoliy Tymoschuk, also making a rare start, sent the ball through for Toni Kroos, who in turn picked out Mandzukic for a simple tap-in.
Nurnberg, who had slumped to just one place above the bottom three in recent weeks, could hardly have imagined a worse start to the game and it took them a while to regain their control over their nerves.
Bayern were in complete control of the game, until a stirring half-time team talk from Dieter Hecking clearly worked.
Nurnberg made a dream start to the second half with Feulner pulling the trigger from almost 30 yards out, the ball curling away from Manuel Neuer's reach and into the bottom corner to bring them level.
A minute later, Nurnberg almost took the lead with Gebhart and Sebastian Polter both making a hash of shots from good positions.
It now seemed like Nurnberg were going to go on and win the game, but as Gebhart stuck his elbow into Bastian Schweinsteiger's cheek, and the referee brandished a second yellow card, there was only one thing for it.
Nurnberg summoned all of their remaining strength to withstand a Bayern siege and hold on for a crucial point and plenty of pride.