BERLIN (Reuters) – Lowly Nuremberg moved closer to an immediate return to the second division when they were beaten 2-0 at VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
The defeat left Nuremberg, who are one place off the bottom of the table, with 19 points, five adrift of VfB Stuttgart who are in the relegation playoff spot above them with two games each to play.
Stuttgart themselves lost 3-1 at Hertha Berlin, sparing Nuremberg the drop for at least one more week.
Wolfsburg, who are sixth and still challenging for a Champions League place, went ahead when Felix Kraus turned in a loose ball from close range in the 38th minute and Marcel Tisserand headed the second with 12 minutes left.
Wolfsburg have 52 points, two behind fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt who visit Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday. The top four qualify for the Champions League.
Hertha Berlin ended a seven-match winless run as they saw off Stuttgart.
The match turned Hertha’s way in the five minutes before halftime as Vedad Ibisevic fired them ahead and Ondrej Duda turned in the second after Ron-Robert Zieler parried an Ibisevic shot.
Veteran Ivorian forward Salomon Kalou added a third for Hertha in the 67th minute before former Bayern Munich and Germany forward Mario Gomez pulled one back for Stuttgart.
Stuttgart were left six points behind Schalke 04 and will be forced at least into a relegation playoff if the Royal Blues take a point off Augsburg on Sunday.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge)