Nürnberg vs. Mainz: Final score 2-1, Nilsson's brace moves Der Club from relegation threatened to threatening a European place

Thomas Langer

Der Club needed three points and got them against Mainz.

The opportunity to maintain their lead amongst the Europa League challengers slipped away from Mainz on Saturday as Per Nilsson sandwiched a Nicolai Müller goal with two of his own to lead Nürnberg to a 2-1 victory over Mainz.

Nürnberg will look at the three points as a huge coup considering their previous predicament. Coming into the match they were on 35 points but were teetering perilously close with "relegation" form. A win against a club that's been performing as well as Mainz has in recent weeks will be a boost to the club's confidence down the stretch. They won't qualify for Europe, but Der Club should find themselves safe with a few games left.

Mainz would've been expecting to put Nürnberg down and collect three points and keep the deficit between themselves and Schalke for the final Champions League spot at only three points. While they can likely kiss their Champions League ambitions goodbye, they're still within a good shout of a spot in the Europa League.

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