Magath, Schalke make winning start
Kevin Kuranyi inspired Schalke to victory over Nurnberg to give them a perfect start to the new Bundesliga season. The former Germany international showed a keen eye for goal with two accomplished finishes either side of the break to give coach Felix Magath a promising start to his reign in charge.
Marek Mintal scored a late consolation for the Bavarians, who looked nervy on their return to the top flight and were unable to send almost 50,000 fans home with something to smile about.
Nurnberg made a tentative start with the onus clearly on keeping things tight at the back and not taking any risks. Schalke were not overly keen on testing them either, with Magath selecting a defence-minded side that involved Heiko Westermann working just in front of the back four.
The chances were few and far between, but Kuranyi only needed one invitation to open his account for the season in the 36th minute. He was left unmarked to side-foot the ball into the far corner after his strike-partner Jefferson Farfan found him just inside the penalty area.
Nurnberg did not learn from their mistake of leaving Kuranyi free, as they conceded a second five minutes into the second half. Levan Kenia powered down the left wing to the goal line before pulling the ball back into the centre.
Farfan let the ball go through to Kuranyi, who volleyed it powerfully into the bottom corner from just inside the area. Benedikt Howedes almost made it three with 20 minutes remaining when he struck a powerful shot against the outside of the post.
The home side looked to react with Angelos Charisteas having several chances to bring them back into the game. His best chance led to the consolation goal in the 88th minute as he was denied by Manuel Neuer, but the Schalke goalkeeper's save with his left leg rebounded to Mintal, who placed the ball comfortably into the net from 16 yards.