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Arndt’s Analysis - The Inside Story: 1860 Win but Must Keep Feet on the Ground 

TSV 1860 München won 1-0 against SpVgg Greuther Fürth on the Monday night game in the 2. Bundesliga. The three points give them breathing space as they climb away from the relegation zone. As he did in their last match against Bielefeld, midfielder Dominik Stahl scored the decisive goal. Carsten Arndt reviews why this win was both deserved and impressive, but shouldn’t induce greater ambitions.

The derby against Fürth was not an easy game for Munich. The “Kleeblätter” are a team sitting exactly where Sechzig (1860) wanted to be before the season, namely in the fight for promotion. “The victory was very important for us. We had a lot of pressure on us before the game”, said the match-winner.

In the run-up to the game, manager Friedhelm Funkel said he wanted to play more attacking football and made one or two changes to the starting eleven. The recently suspended Yannick Stark came back into the starting XI, Sebastian Hertner was forced to sit on the bench. With Stark, Stahl and defender-by-trade Kai Bülow in deep-lying midfielder, Funkel had a centre with a lot of defensive skills but hardly any creativity.

That much was evident in the first half. Sechzig kept it tight at the back but they had problems in attack. Funkel’s plan was to defend deep and break quickly, given the chance. To do this effectively though, requires players capable of strong build-up play to initiate these counterattacks. The Löwen (1860) lacked a figure like that and therefore regularly lost the ball.

In the second half, the 15,500 fans were treated to attacking football though. Significantly, it was the team who decided the turn-around. “We said to ourselves, that we had to press highly from the beginning”, said Stahl. That’s we the team, not the manager.

Left winger Daniel Adlung took centre stage, and was joined by the much-improved Stoppelkamp after the break. The fans were treated to a number of attacking chances before Stahl scored the opener. Adlung crossed from the left into the box where Benny Lauth controlled with his chest before laying off to Dominik Stahl who slammed the ball into the net: “A great goal. That was exactly how we wanted to play.”

Their performance in the second half was impressive, and let the crowd dream of higher goals. The stadium announcer shouting “only seven points to first place” after the final whistle may have been exciting, but the team should keep their feet firmly on the ground.

Despite all the euphoria, that second half boost also came as a result of Fürth’s problems. The guests played perhaps the worst match they have all season. The chance to top the league seemed to lame Frank Kramer’s side. “We played too cautiously and we lacked punch,” Fürth’s manager said after the game: “The first half was horrible.”

Furthermore Kramer was forced to replace Stephan Fürstner before the half-time break because he was in danger of picking up a second yellow card. This proved to be one of the key moments in this game, because Fürstner´s absence led the visitors to lose their control in the centre of the park. This was, in turn, a big reason why Sechzig got better in the second half. “It was tough that we had to change Fürstner that early. With his experience he is an important part of our game, so we missed him a lot. But I had to take him off. Coughing probably would have been enough to send him off,” Kramer said to MunichNow.

Nevertheless, for 1860 three points are three points, no matter how they get them. “It was a lucky win, but the team deserved it. They’re all pretty shattered,” said Funkel.

Only Benjamin Lauth might still be a bit sad. He’s now gone without a goal in twelve matches, which is more than 1,000 minutes. This evening he got an assist but the goalscorer is hardly living up to his reputation lately. Then again, Stahl’s happy to step in. “If there’s no one else, I’ll have to do it.”

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