Old foes Nürnberg

Bavarian derby’s long and turbulent history


Saturday sees the 182nd 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.

“Bayern versus Nürnberg is always special, and it’s a heated atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to it,” said Philipp Lahm. The Munich born-and-bred player revels in the animosity and excitement surrounding the prestige encounter. “The match means a lot to me personally, and it’s always tight in Nuremberg. I’m expecting the same again on Saturday.”

The record books confirm that Bayern have tended to struggle in Franconia. Munich last won at the Frankenstadion in 2005, drawing twice and losing once since then, and have won only 12 times in 26 Bundesliga visits, with eight defeats and six draws. FCB even have a negative goal difference, with 38 scored to 41 conceded.


    Saturday’s fixture is the 54th Bundesliga meeting between the rivals, where Bayern are well ahead overall on 32 wins, 10 draws, and 11 defeats, with 94 goals for and 60 against. FCB have only lost once in their last 15 encounters with FCN, although that was one of many memorable and unusual derby clashes. fcbayern.de has 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.

    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 point).

    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 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.

    The latest derbies:
    Bayern won this season’s reverse fixture on 14 November 2010 at the Allianz Arena 3-0, with goals from Mario Gomez (2) and Philipp Lahm (penalty). It could have been more, but Gomez blasted a penalty into the crowd before the end. FCB also dominated last season’s derby in Nuremberg on 20 February 2010, although the game ended 1-1, Thomas Müller opening the scoring but Ilkay Gündogan levelling with the home side’s first chance.

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