Enrico Valentini looked surprisingly regular. Considering that things had just gotten pretty messy, the 1. FC Nürnberg captain left a very clear impression as he stood in front of reporters after the 4-2 draw against SV Sandhausen. The game? ran unfortunately. Outcome? Painful. After all, the chances of reaching third place? Still available.
Valentini, 33, seemed so calm as he worked with reporters’ questions – despite the fact that he had 90 minutes of things getting out of hand.
It was a 1. FC Nürnberg facing former coach Alois Schwartz and SV Sandhausen on Sunday afternoon. On the one hand, 1. FC Nürnberg was still in their right even after being left behind early and playing physical football, with short and dynamic passes, just as 1. FC Nürnberg plays under Klauss. On the other hand, 1. FC Nürnberg was not at all in it because, as Klauss admitted after the match, they were “badly defended”.
“We would be fools if we did not believe anymore,” says Valentini
Six corner kicks, four conceded goals, “I have never experienced this before,” complained Klauß and then admitted to the promotion race: “Our starting position has deteriorated tremendously.” Three games before the end of the season, there are already four points that separate Nuremberg from third place – six are missing for second place. 2: 4 against Sandhausen, could have been the decisive obstacle, but they had not yet surrendered to Nuremberg. “If we win in St. Pauli, the table will speak another language again,” Valentini said on Sunday, sounding far less optimistic than one might think. “Of course we are even more dependent on our opponents now,” Valentini said, “but we would be foolish if we did not believe in it anymore.”
Also on Sunday the club was quite convincing. After less than five minutes, the ball was in the net of Nuremberg as Janik Bachmann was surprisingly free to head the ball from the corner – but then the club showed an impressive reaction. This was the big question after the early deficit: How would the team cope 0: 1? Would she be mindful and tense as a result? Would she rush into the heat of the moment and lose her head as a result? Or would he just shake himself briefly and then think about what put him in the situation of still having an eye on the Bundesliga in the final meters of the season?
When Asger Sörensen made it 2-1 early in the second half, Nuremberg seemed to be on the right track.
The club decided to simply claim that nothing had happened at all and played some kind of leverage. He raised tremendous pressure, but was not open. He pushed Sandhausen back, but remained self-changing. It was not with angry attacks that Nuremberg responded. There was no anger, no challenge, no hint of banging his head against the wall. Aware that they still had plenty of time to sort things out, the club won eight corner kicks in the first 45 minutes alone and had 13 shots on goal, including a draw by Tom Krauss and Taylan Duman hitting the post.
When Asger Sörensen made it 2-1 early in the second half, Nuremberg seemed to be on the right track before being knocked out of the second corner: Tom Trybull scored to make it 2-2. Fifteen minutes after the equalizer, the club could have taken the lead again, but Valentini, who had just entered as a substitute, missed from the penalty spot before Sandhausen hit two more times from the corner in the rain of Nuremberg.
“We had to bring our kind of football to the pitch – it’s different from the way Nuremberg plays,” Schwartz said after the game, referring to the technically demanding style that characterizes the club. But, and that led the team to the point and not just on Sunday: a executor is missing. And against Sandhausen were four corner kicks that knocked down 1. FC Nürnberg.