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Old foes Nürnberg

Bavarian derby’s long and turbulent history

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Saturday sees the 187th all-Bavaria derby - FCB versus FCN, Old Bavaria versus Franconia, and Germany’s most successful club versus the team they displaced in 1987, when Bayern’s tenth league title took them ahead of nine-time winners Nürnberg. This, the fact the cities are less than 150 km apart, and a traditional rivalry between the different regions of the state, make for an intoxicating derby mixture.

In the Bundesliga, the clubs have crossed swords 58 times, with Bayern clearly leading the way in the stats on 35 victories, 12 draws and only 11 defeats, with FCB scoring 105 goals and conceding 62. The recent history of the fixture also falls heavily in favour of the treble winners: of the last 22 meetings, including two in the cup, Bayern have won 13, with eight draws and only a single defeat.

FCB are specially dominant at home to FCN, as the Reds have not lost to their neighbours in front of their home crowd in 15 competitive matches spanning 21 years. Bayern’s most recent loss in Munich was as long ago as March 1992 at the Olympic Stadium, but Munich comfortably won the last two meetings at the Allianz Arena by a 4-0 scoreline. The fixture has delivered many memorable and unusual derby clashes down the years, so delved into the archives for more.

The first Bundesliga derby:
More than 45 years ago, on 30 October 1965, Bayern met FC Nürnberg in the Bundesliga for the first time. A 40,000 crowd at the Grünwalder Stadion saw promoted Munich dominate throughout, but fail to force the ball over the line. The game ended goalless, prompting FCB boss Tschik Cajkovski to blast the visitors’ ultra-defensive tactics.

The heaviest defeat:
Two years later, on 2 December 1967, Bayern travelled to Nuremberg and fell to their heaviest defeat in the fixture, in a match still regarded as legendary in Franconia. FCN won 7-3, striker Franz ‘Goldköpfchen’ Brungs scoring five, a feat not emulated by any other Nürnberg player since. Coach Max Merkel and his men won the title that season, the most recent in the club’s history.

The most recent defeat:
Bayern have lost just once to Nürnberg this century, the league meeting in Franconia on 2 February 2007. FCN, who would go on to win the cup, triumphed 3-0 with goals from Ivan Saenko, Markus Schroth and Robert Vittek, spoiling the first game back in charge for Ottmar Hitzfeld, who had taken over as Bayern head coach from Felix Magath a day earlier.

Turbaned Hoeneß:
Another legendary derby was the DFB Cup final on 1 May 1982 at the Waldstadion in Frankfurt. Nürnberg led 2-0 at half-time, but FCB hit back with goals from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Wolfgang Kraus and Paul Breitner. The main talking point was the clinching goal by Dieter Hoeneß: the Bayern hitman sustained a three centimetre cut in a first-half collision with Alois Reinhardt, but played on in a turban-like bandage. He made it 4-2 in the 89th minute – with his head.

The goal that never was:
Was it in? A groan had already risen from the Munich Olympic stadium crowd and the home players had turned away in dismay, but the linesman flagged for a goal – and the ref gave it. The 24th minute of the Bundesliga meeting between Bayern and Nürnberg on 23 April 1994 featured one of the strangest ‘goals’ in league history, as Thomas Helmer bundled the ball the wrong side of the post from a corner, only for the referee to confirm the linesman’s incorrect decision and put the home side 1-0 up. FCB ended up winning 2-1, as Raimond Aumann saved a penalty from Nürnberg’s Manfred Schwabl just before the end. But Nürnberg successfully protested the result, and the match was replayed ten days later (see next section).

The biggest win:
The replay produced Bayern’s biggest derby victory, a 5-0 triumph on 3 May 1994 courtesy of goals from Mehmet Scholl (2), Bruno Labbadia (2) and Dietmar Hamann. Four days later, FCB won the league and FCN were relegated. In a savage twist, had Schwabl converted the penalty in the first match and the score remained 2-2, FCN would have retained their place in the Bundesliga and Bayern would not have won the league – assuming of course that all other results in between remained unchanged.

The lottery of penalties:
It took no fewer than 18 penalties to determine the winner of the DFB Cup second round tie between the sides at the Olympic stadium on 28 October 2003. Vittek and Makaay traded goals as the game finished 1-1 after normal and extra-time, and 17 penalties were taken (with two misses per team) before Nürnberg’s Mark Nikl saw his spot-kick saved by Oliver Kahn, Bayern winning the shoot-out 7-6.

The last match at the Olympic stadium:
Nürnberg provided the opposition for the final match at the Olympic stadium. on 14 May 2005. Munich bade farewell to their venerable home ground on a winning note in a 6-3 goalfest. FCB had already sealed the league title, but the last two goals at the famous ground were netted by FCN’s Samuel Slovak.

The latest derby:
FCB cruised to victory in their most recent meeting with FCN, a 4-0 win in mid-April this year. The 71,000 crowd at the Allianz Arena saw Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez, Rafinha and Xherdan Shaqiri score the goals as the home side outplayed the visitors. The game contained a few curios to boot: Franck Ribéry captained the Reds in a competitive match for the first time; Tom Starke saved a Timmy Simons penalty with his head; and FCB talent Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg made his top-flight debut, becoming Bayern's youngest Bundesliga player of all time at the age of 17 years and 251 days.