German Bundesliga: Nurnberg beat Stuttgart after Josip Drmic claims two goals
Last Updated: 26/03/14 10:13pm
In-demand striker Josip Drmic netted his ninth and 10th goals in 11 matches as Nurnberg secured a 2-0 win over Stuttgart.
Drmic struck either side of the break adding to his ever-rising reputation. A recent brace on international duty has propelled him to the front of Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld's mind ahead of the World Cup but Drmic's goals in the short-term look crucial in deciding Nurnberg's Bundesliga future
Nurnberg's best form of defence was in attack and they had the majority share of the better chances in the first-half.
Despite Konstantin Rausch's long-range thunderbolt which hit the bar for Stuttgart, Nurnberg were largely on top.
On 22 minutes, Maik Frantz passed up a super chance from a corner-kick, heading wide unmarked after confusion between Georg Niedermeier and Vedad Ibisevic.
Twelve minutes later, Swiss international Drmic got his first taste of goal when Sven Ulreich was forced to block at his feet inside the six-yard-box, as the striker looked to pounce on Hiroshi Kiyotake's through pass.
The in-form frontman, who has been linked with Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, finally found the breakthrough on 43 minutes. Drmic picked the ball up about 25 yards from goal on the counter-attack, and his acceleration left Niedermeier in his wake as he then drilled home purposefully from 15 yards out.
Stevens asked Timo Werner and Alexandru Maxim to come off the bench at the break and provide some much-required spark, but it was to no avail.
Drmic was in the mood - and his second goal came eight minutes after the restart. He steadied himself to convert Markus Feulner's cross from seven yards out.
The striker was denied his hat-trick on 64 minutes by a well-timed defensive challenge by German Under-21 international Antonio Rudiger but Gertjan Verbeek's men kept the hatch closed at the back with Raphael Schafer making a fine stop from Maxim late in the match.
Nurnberg moved out of the relegation zone to 14th with Stuttgart dropping into the bottom three.