Victory lifts Nuremberg out of Bundesliga relegation zone | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.03.2014
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Victory lifts Nuremberg out of Bundesliga relegation zone

Nuremberg have jumped out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win over relegation rivals Stuttgart. At the other end of the table, Leverkusen boosted their Champions League prospects with a victory over Augsburg.

While's Tuesday's Bundesliga fanfare was all about Bayern winning the title (and a rather tame Ruhr Derby), Wednesday was an evening for the relegation battlers. After Eintracht Braunschweig's unexpected 3-1 victory over Mainz the previous evening, the fight for league survival was blown open.

Four of the league's five bottom teams - Freiburg, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Nuremberg - all played Wednesday evening.

The biggest winners on the night were Nuremberg, whose victory over Stuttgart lifted them from 17th to 14th in the Bundesliga table.

Josip Drmic put The Club in the lead just before halftime with a goal set up by a skillful touch to round his defender. The Swiss striker doubled his tally on 54 minutes after finishing off Markus Feulner's cross at the far post.

The win marks a change of fortunes for Gertjan Verbeek's side, who had lost four straight league matches heading into Wednesday's encounter.

"The team always believed in itself," Feulner told broadcaster Sky after the match. "We maybe didn't play completely beautiful football but it worked."

Leverkusen return to form

Seeking their first league win since Feburary 7, Leverkusen had an opportunity to remind fans why they'd been so highly regarded in the opening half of the season in their match against Augsburg.

FC Augsburg - Bayer Leverkusen

Kiessling's goal was his 12th of the season

Leverkusen jumped ahead just after the 10 minute mark. Stefan Kiessling cut into the box to receive Gonzalo Castro's pass before turning and firing low into the net. Tobias Werner drew level for the hosts on the hour mark with a close-range header, once again demonstrating Augsburg's impressive ability to make things difficult for visiting opposition this season.

But it wasn't to be for the Bavarians. In the 80th minute Heung-Min Son cut down the left side of the area and fired a shot from an extreme angle that beat Marwin Hitz at the near post to make it 2-1 for Leverkusen.

Emre Can added a third just 200 seconds later for good measure, capping off a strong showing from the visitors.

It was a crucial victory for the Pharmaceuticals, whose poor form of late has seen them slide out of the fight for second place and instead clinging to the Bundesliga's fourth and final Champions League qualification spot.

Hoffenheim dominant at home

Hoffenheim and Hannover traded goals early on at the Rhein-Neckar Arena in Sinsheim, with Eugen Polanski's 12th minute effort cutting the lead Leon Andreasen had given the visitors less than five minutes earlier.

1899 Hoffenheim - Hannover 96

Andreasen's early goal was canceled out five minutes later

In the 51st minute, Anthony Modeste put Hoffenheim 2-1 up with a low finish set up by a through ball from Roberto Firmino.

Manuel Schmiedbach's red card for a reckless tackle on Modeste 25 minutes later sealed Hannover's fate, making the most impressive goal of the match in stoppage time unnecessary.

Spotting goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler off his line, Sebastian Rudy scored from long range in an effort that couldn't have been any more indicative of Hannover's poor decision making on the evening.

Frankfurt take three points

Eintracht Frankfurt grabbed a hard-earned three points at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach thanks to solitary goal from in-form striker Joselu in the 16th minute.

Eintracht Frankfurt - Borussia Mönchengladbach

Joselu was the decider in Frankfurt

After running onto Stefan Aigner's through ball, he out-muscled Martin Stranzl and put a side-footed finish past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to make it 1-0.

Hamburg, meanwhile, drew 1-1 with fellow relegation battlers Freiburg in a result that doesn't do much for either team.

HSV were forced to make due without their main source of creativity of late, after Hakan Calhanoglu's red card on the last match day.

Freiburg's Vladimir Darida broke the deadlock five minutes after the restart with a low volley after Felix Klaus' initial effort rattled off the post. It was a short-lived advantage, however. Five minutes later Pierre-Michel Lassoga's shot from the corner of the area was deflected over Oliver Baumann, leaving the Freiburg keeper helpless to concede the equalizer.

Wednesday's results mean the Bundesliga's midweek action ends with 17th-place Stuttgart joining Braunschweig in the league's two automatic relegation spots, while Hamburg remain in the 16th-place playoff position.

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