For most teams, a seven-goal thrashing would have created all sorts of self-doubt. Not 1. FC Nürnberg. Up against fellow top flight new boys Fortuna Düsseldorf, Michael Köllner's well-drilled side banished their dismal Dortmund nightmare to sweep to a steely if slightly flattering three-goal victory at the Max-Morlock-Stadion.
Nürnberg coach Michael Köllner would have a lot of thinking to do following his team's 0:7 beating in Dortmund, and made four changes. In came Eduard Löwen, Matheus Pereira, Ondrej Petrak and Mikael Ishak, in place of Robert Bauer, Patrick Erras, Alex Fuchs and Yuya Kubo.
There were also four changes for visitors Fortuna, with Marcel Sobottka, Kevin Stöger, Benito Raman and Rouwen Hennings making way for Dodi Lukebakio, Takashi Usami, Adam Bodzek and Marvin Ducksch.
Slow but sure
Having been torn apart just days earlier, the home team were understandably cautious - as were their opponents. There were a number of half-chances for Der Club, but the most notable attacks were shots from distance. First Petrak had a crack, and Tim Leibold also tried his luck in taking on Fortuna 'keeper Michael Rensing.
Unable to create a chance in open play, Nürnberg were able to get their foot in the door from the penalty spot. There was little argument about Lukebakio's challenge on Leibold, and skipper Hanno Behrens stepped up to put his team into a 28th minute lead.
The goal seemed to spark the dormant Düsseldorfers into life, and they started to carve out some good opportunities. The busy Lukebakio tested FCN 'keeper Fabian Bredlow after 33 minutes, centreback Kaan Ayhan misdirected a header, and Bredlow could only watch as an Alfredo Morales show smacked the upright.
The lead flattered the home side, and Düsseldorf coach Friedhelm Funkel must have thought his team would be in with a decent chance of making a second half comeback.
Nürnberg make sure
As in the first half, the pace at the start of the second half was sedate at best. Ducksch had a crack from distance for the visitors, and both sides had offside efforts chalked off. Apart from that, the two teams shuffled around the pitch with no great purpose or vigour. With the home side happy to sit back and wait for their opportunity, the game turned into a cat and mouse affair.After 64 minutes, it was Köllner's side that made the decisive move. Breaking quickly from defence, Behrens' long ball found Ishak via a deflection from a Düsseldorf player, and the speedy Ishak did the rest as he found the left corner of the net.
Düsseldorf had no choice but to press, and suddenly the contest burst into life. Bredlow was called into action to keep out shots from Niko Gießelmann (74.) and Jean Zimmer (77.), but it was Nürnberg that delivered the final killer blow. Morales was dispossessed by Löwen, and the move was finished off by substitute Federico Palacios, whose right-footed shot beat the helpless Rensing.
Der Club could have even added a fourth through sub through Virgin Misidjan in the closing minutes, but the result was more than satisfactory. Having been punched mercilessly to the ground in Dortmund just three days earlier, Köllner's side had hauled themselves off the canvas.
Result: 1. FC Nürnberg 3 (Behrens 28., Ishak 64., Palacios 78.) Fortuna Düsseldorf 0