The Wolves secured a third Bundesliga victory in five but were made to work hard for the points by a dogged Nürnberg side. A defensive mix-up allowed Felix Klaus to open the scoring in the first half, before Marcel Tisserand sealed the win late on with his maiden Bundesliga goal.
Bruno Labbadia was forced to reshuffle at the back given the continued injury absences of John Brooks and Jerome Roussillon, while William was suspended. Elvis Rexhbecaj came in at right-back, Renato Steffen dropped in on the opposite flank and Tisserand filled in at centre-back alongside Robin Knoche. Pavao Pervan again deputise in goal for the injured Koen Casteels.
Klaus breaks the deadlock
Labbadia had predicted that Nürnberg would "put everything into the match" and he was soon proved right as the action got underway. The visitors, scrapping for survival, thundered into tackles and while the Wolves gave as good as they got, there were few goalscoring chances to speak of in the first 45 minutes until Admir Mehmedi beat Nürnberg goalkeeper Christian Mathenia to Sebastian Kerk's attempted back-pass, teeing up Klaus to score his first goal for VfL with a simple finish.
Tisserand wraps things up
The second half continued in much the same vein, with neither side giving an inch in a congested midfield tussle. The only chance of note fell to VfL, with Yannick Gerhardt almost inadvertently adding to the scoreline with a right-wing cross that evaded everybody and skipped just wide of the far post.
Nürnberg threw caution to the wind as the match wore on, but the closest they came was a long-range shot from Mikael Ishak that Pervan saved comfortably and Tisserand made sure of the points in the closing stages with a powerful header that keeps VfL on track for UEFA Europa League qualification.
VfL Wolfsburg: Pervan – Rexhbecaj, Knoche, Tisserand, Steffen (Uduokhai 76') – Arnold, Guilavogui (c), Gerhardt – Mehmedi – Klaus (Malli 70'), Weghorst (Ginczek 84')
1. FC Nürnberg: Mathenia - Bauer, Mühl, Ewerton (Margreitter 73'), Leibold - Erras – Pereira (Kubo 75'), Löwen, Behrens (c), Kerk – Ishak (Knöll 81')
Goals: Klaus (38'), Tisserand (78')
Yellow cards: -
Attendance: 22, 512
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Berlin)