Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 FC Augsburg: Poor finishing plagues chance-filled encounter

Marvin Hitz and Bernd Leno shone in this goalless encounter, though they were helped by two sets of sluggish forwards.

Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 FC Augsburg: Poor finishing plagues chance-filled encounter
Javier Hernandez had a couple of decent first half chances, but found Marvin Hitz in his way on both occasions. (Photo: Bundesliga)
Bayer Leverkusen
0 0
FC Augsburg
Bayer Leverkusen: (4-4-2): Leno; Henrichs, Tah, Dragovic, Wendell; Volland, Aranguiz, Bender (Pohjanpalo 76'), Kampl; Hernandez (Kießling 65'), Calhanoglu Brandt 65').
FC Augsburg: Hitz; Verhaegh, Gouweleeuw, Hinteregger, Stafylidis; Kacar (Janker 85'), Baier; Klo (Max 46'), Morávek (Altintop 83'), Ji; Finnbogason.
REFEREE: Dr. Jochen Drees. Booked: Verhaegh 46', Gouweleeuw 71'.

It was a story of missed chances as Bayer Leverkusen welcomed FC Augsburg on Wednesday night, the finally score goalless on an evening to forget for the forwards.

Charles Aranguiz in particular will be keen to put this game behind him, missing a great chance from 12 yards in open play and then a penalty after the break.

Credit must be given to both Marvin Hitz and Bernd Leno who pulled off some good stops in the game, but overall it was a game lacking a ruthless streak which either side could have won, had they been more clinical.

Chances not taken in slow-burning first half

After a very dull and scrappy start, it seemed like even Augsburg's blinding away kit couldn't brighten up this midweek affair at the BayArena.

However, Javier Hernandez's header right at Hitz was a catalyst for more chances as the two sides battled for a half time lead.

At the other end, Gojko Kacar found himself in plenty of space in the box as a loose ball fell to him, but his shot on the spin was dragged miles wide of the target.

As the game wore on, the football did improve, changing from sloppy, aimless play to some lovely stuff.

With this came a big save from Leno, who parried Ji Dong-Won's drive from the left wing to safety - the South Korean cutting inside and looking to end a move of 20 plus passes with a goal.

Hernandez had another opportunity as we were treated to a flurry of chances in quick succession, but Hitz was again on hand to deny him as he nipped in at the front post to arrow the ball goalwards.

The big, big chance would be the home side's too, but, again, they didn't take it. Great work from Kevin Volland saw him dance down the right before cutting back for Aranguiz, but the Chilean blasted his effort over the bar from 12 yards despite being completely unmarked.

Chance after chance after chance, but no goals at the break from a 45 minutes lacking conviction.

Second half much like the first, and still no goals

The interval then interrupted what was becoming an exciting game, with Leverkusen looking to shake it back into life with a double change that thew Stefan Kießling and Julian Brandt into the mix.

It was Volland who gave the hosts the chance to go one up though. Fouled in the area by Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, the referee had no choice but the point to the spot.

With less than 20 minutes to go, this was potentially a chance for Leverkusen to win the game too, but Aranguiz didn't take it. Just as he did with his opportunity in open play - that also from 12 yards - in the first half, he missed the target by some distance.

Buoyed by that let off, Augsburg then darted down the other end and could have taken the lead straight away. A swift, sharp move saw Alfred Finnbogason cross for Jan Morávek, but his powerful effort was well saved by Leno.

Hitz was to be the hero, producing an incredible late save to deny Kießling a stoppage time winner, but a goalless draw was a fair result in the end.

Either team could have won it given the chances created but, with neither set of forwards bringing their 'A' game in front of goal, the final scoreline was more than representative of the game itself.