VfB Stuttgart 0-0 Hertha BSC: Relegation battle ends in hard-fought draw

Bundesliga struggler's can't be separated for the first time since 2009.

Bundesliga struggler’s can’t be separated for the first time since 2009.

The Bundesliga’s Friday night action came out of the Mercedes-Benz-Arena as bottom side Stuttgart faced fellow struggler’s Hertha BSC. Things continue to look bleak for Stuttgart and Hertha as they battled it out for three points, but unfortunately they had to settle for a goalless draw.

The home side have had a terrible ride on the Bundesliga roller coaster so far this season and with not much time left to take a breath and witness the view they have to react quickly if they’re to avoid slipping out of their Bundesliga seat. A reaction at home to Hertha will be a step in the right direction, so far this season Stuttgart have only one home victory to their name. They’ve had a tough few weeks and Hertha can provide the platform for a strong finish to the season.

Hertha have also had their struggles this season and currently sit in 14th place. Last weekend they managed to defeat a very good side in the shape of Augsburg and they’ll be hoping that the victory will lead to some consistency, a win tonight will see Hertha win back to back games for the first time this season.

The first incident of the game came after just twenty seconds, John Heitinga blocked off youngster Timo Werner and picked up a yellow card after the use of his elbow.

The hosts provided the first effort of the game, Filip Kostić drived towards the box with purpose and after dragging defenders with him to create the opportunity, he couldn’t strike his effort well enough and it was straight at Thomas Kraft.

Werner had a golden chance to put Stuttgart ahead when a cross from the right somehow found it’s way to Christian Gentner, who was allowed to turn and play it to the youngster and unfortunately Werner scuffed his chance to score on his 19th birthday.

The chances continued to fall to the home side and Kraft had to be alert when Adam Hloušek’s cross from the left found the head if Gentner, the header was heading for the corner before Kraft was able to grab it out of the air.

Hertha didn’t have many things to be cheerful about in the opening stages, however that changed after twenty-five minutes, a quick break saw a poor clearance come out to Valentin Stocker on the edge of the area, the Swiss midfielder fired a pacey low shot towards goal and Sven Ulreich did well to save down to his left.

The game wasn’t providing many highlights as the game ticked more and more towards the break. When some excitement was needed it was Werner and Stuttgart that provided it, a lovely ball out wide allowed Werner to breeze down the left and the youngster whipped in a teasing low cross in front of goal, sadly for everyone no one was there to profit from it, instead Marvin Plattenhardt cleared for a corner.

Just before the break Stuttgart provided another promising move, once again it came down the left Werner and Hloušek playing a lovely one-two before the latter wildly sliced his shot well wide.

The second half continued on from the first and after a slow ten minutes of the half there was a talking point. The handbags were out after Kraft claimed a Alexandru Maxim cross he was hit with a Georg Niedermeier shoulder, after going down he quickly got up to take his anger out on Gentner before going off the pitch for a lie down and some treatment. The incident concluded with Kraft being the only player out of the three to get a booking.

Just after the hour mark Stuttgart had one of the chances of the game when Kostić’s cross from the right deflected off John Anthony Brooks and towards his own goal, Daniel Ginczek managed to find himself with tons of space, however he blazed his effort over as Kraft came racing out.

Hertha managed to create a rare chance and it was arguably the chance of the game. Salomon Kalou charged through Stuttgart’s half and delightfully nutmegged Niedermeier before setting up Nico Schulz, the Hertha substitute only had to beat Ulreich, despite doing so he agonisingly watched his shot also go wide. Soon after that chance Hertha were forced to change their keeper, with just eight minutes left of the game Kraft was forced to go off as he was struggling with the knock from Niedermeier earlier in the half.

The last bit of action of the game saw Schulz pick up a second booking in the 7th minute of injury to see his side go down to ten men.

The game was far from entertaining and both sides showed everyone why they have a lot of work ahead if they’re to stay up. Hertha will be the happier of the two sides, they managed a point away from home after failing to threaten Stuttgart enough. Stuttgart are in trouble and this result won’t improve things and this result could spark a change in head coach.

Things don’t get easier for Stuttgart either, next week they have to face Bayer Leverkusen. Hertha also face a tough test next weekend as they host Schalke.

Stuttgart: Ulreich, Klein, Schwaab, Niedermeier, Gentner, Hloušek, Serey Die (Leitner 92′), Maxim, Ginczek (Ibišević 68′), Kostić (Kiesewetter 81′), Werner.
Hertha BSC: Kraft (Burchert 83′), Heitinga (Cigerci 45′), Langkamp, Pekarík, Plattenhardt, Brooks, Lustenberger, Stocker, Hegeler (Schulz 45′), Beerens, Kalou.
REFEREE: Felix Brych Booked: Heitinga 1′, Klein 32, Kraft 55′, Schulz 74′, Leitner 92′, Schulz 97′. Red Card: Schulz 97′.
Article for VAVEL Bundesliga.
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