Nurnberg 0-1 Bayern Munich
Robben strike wins derby as visitors close gap on Dortmund
The Dutchman scored the only goal of the game as Jupp Heynckes' side secured their fourth consecutive league win to cut the gap at the top of the Bundesliga to just three points
Bayern Munich secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Nurnberg at the EasyCredit-Stadion on Saturday.
With the hosts providing stalwart opposition it took Bayern 69 minutes to find the net and the breakthrough came courtesy of Arjen Robben.
Neither team were able to take charge of the game early on and were seemingly highly laboured when on the ball.
Chances were limited in the first half but in the 15th minute Timothy Chandler whipped in a left-footed cross which eluded every Bayern defender. Adam Hlousek stole in behind Philipp Lahm but his connection was poor and Manuel Neuer saved comfortably.
Just moments later Holger Badstuber got on the end of Robben’s free kick from wide on the right but saw his header deflected over the bar.
Nurnberg were matching their visitors in all departments with the fantastic work rate of Timmy Simons and Hanno Balitsch in midfield heavily disrupting Bayern’s usually fluid attacking quartet.
Bayern’s best attacking move came in the 34th minute when a few slick passes ended at the feet of Danijel Pranjic on the left. The Croatian’s cross found an unmarked Robben in the box but the winger headed wide.
Just before the half-time interval Nurnberg almost put themselves ahead. Hlousek’s corner evaded a scrambling Neuer and was met by the head of Simons but he failed to turn his attempt on target.
It only took the visitors four minutes after the restart to test Raphael Schafer. Robben’s free kick was miscontrolled by Mario Gomez and fell to Thomas Muller. He snatched at the ball and sent his volley straight at Schafer.
With 10 minutes of the second half played, Heynckes signalled his intent to change the game by bringing on Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribery in quick succession.
Bayern began to impose themselves on the game and a few moments after Muller had a goal ruled out for offside, the visitors took the lead with 69 minutes played.
Ribery latched onto Toni Kroos’ exquisite lofted pass but fired straight at Schafer. Fortunately for the Frenchman, Robben was on hand to fire the rebound into the bottom corner.
The visitors came close to adding another when Lahm clipped a great ball into the box after 87 minutes but Gomez's header rattled the bar.
The three points almost completely slipped away when Neuer failed to hold Almog Cohen's ambitious strike. The keeper was rescued by the frame of his own goal which kept the ball out of the net.
The victory means that Bayern close Borussia Dortmund’s advantage at the Bundesliga summit to just three points while Nurnberg fall down the table and join Freiburg in 12th position.