Mainz beat Nuremberg in a game that saw them grab a comfortable early lead. While Nuremberg got one back and kept on pushing, Mainz sustained an impressive run of home form with 2-1 the final score.
Mainz continued a run of good form at home on Friday with their fourth victory in five home Bundesliga games against a spirited Nuremberg.
However the Rhinelanders were given a run for their money, despite going two goals ahead early in the evening.
The first, just 12 minutes into the match at Mainz’s Coface Arena, involved a dazzling solo run as Nicolai Müller found Nuremberg wanting down the right flank to finish from a tight angle.
Ten minutes later, Julian Baumgartlinger freed up fellow Austrian international Andreas Ivansschitz in the area, the midfielder dinked the ball around the keeper and did just enough to feed it into goal, falling over as he was finally caught up by the Nuremberg defense.
Nuremberg were far from out of it, though, coming close with a header from Tomas Pekhart and long range effort from Japanese star Hiroshi Kiyotake.
Nuremberg grabbed one back when Per Nilsson rose up to score, meeting a gloriously-placed free kick from Hiroshi Kiyotake with his head to make it 2-1.
By the half time whistle, Mainz looked the better side although Nuremberg were certainly dangerous.
Off the bar, then offside
Both sides had reasons to be disappointed in a second half packed with chances. For Mainz, Jan Kirchhoff in particular might have been kicking himself after seeing one header hit the crossbar on 57 minutes. He hit the net with another ten minutes later, only for it to be disallowed for offside.
However, Nuremberg built up steam in the second half with Mainz forced more onto the defensive. A triple substitution by Nuremberg coach Dieter Hecking on 73 minutes failed to have the desired effect and the final score was unchanged.
"The bottom line is that it was a deserved victory. I am very satisfied," Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel said, acknowledging: "In the end it was a real fight."
Mainz are now in fifth place, with 17 points after 11 games. Nuremberg, on 11 points, are hovering in 14th place - not far clear of the drop zone.
In Saturday’s Bundesliga action, league leaders Bayern Munich play host to surprise package Eintracht Frankfurt while champions Borussia Dortmund are away to Augsburg.