Sun, Nov 28, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Mainz win to cut Dortmund’s lead

Reuters, BERLIN

Nuremberg’s Andreas Wolf, left, challenges Mainz 05’s Adam Szalai during their Bundesliga match on Friday in Mainz, Germany.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Second-placed Mainz enjoyed a 3-0 win over Nuremberg on Friday to cut Borussia Dortmund’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga to four points.

Goals from Andre Schuerrle, Nikolce Noveski and Sami Allagui moved Mainz on to 30 points from 14 games, with Dortmund scheduled to host bottom team Borussia Moenchengladbach yesterday.

After losing three matches in a row, Mainz have now won their last two league games to regain the momentum they built up after winning a record-equaling seven games at the start of the season.

“It was clear this would not be an easy game and that is the way it turned out,” said Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel.

“But we stayed patient and compact, although the 3-0 does not really reflect the game and it is a bit too high,” Tuchel said.

Mainz did not have many chances in an evenly balanced first half, but they caught Nuremberg’s defense napping when Schuerrle tapped in from close range in the 27th minute for the lead.

The visitors almost leveled three minutes after the restart when Ilkay Gundogan thundered a drive just over the crossbar.

However, soon after Christian Fuchs again turned provider, whipping a low free-kick from the left into the box for Noveski to slide home from close range to score in the 54th minute.

Nuremberg went close again when Jense Hegeler’s header hit the crossbar in the 72nd minute, before Mainz sealed the win as Allagui was picked out by goalkeeper Christian Wetklo.

The substitute clipped the ball over a defender and then chipped visiting ’keeper Raphael Schaefer for his third goal in two games four minutes from time.

Nuremberg have now lost three games in a row to drop to 10th on 18 points and, with a tough schedule until the winter break against Dortmund, Hoffenheim and Hanover, they could lose even more ground after a good start to the season.

Yesterday, third-placed Bayer Leverkusen were to travel to fifth-placed Hoffenheim, while struggling champs Bayern Munich were to host Eintracht Frankfurt.

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