Despite the best efforts of both sides, neither 1. FSV Mainz 05 or VfB Stuttgart could score the all important goal to claim all three points at the Coface Arena.
It was almost the worst possible start for Stuttgart, as Przemyslaw Tyton gave the ball away with a poor pass. Yunus Malli stole possession back and touched it onto Julian Baumgartlinger, who struck the ball into Danny Latza's feet. The midfielder couldn't quite find the finish, as Tyton redeemed himself with a good low save.
Stuttgart responded strongly, and could have been level. Christian Gentner managed to find the outside of the post from a corner, while Loris Karius was forced into a good stop before his defence managed to hack the rebound clear. Despite all signs pointing towards a cagey affair, the opening minutes were anything but.
Stuttgart on top
After that, the Swabians were keen to utilise the right-hand side and Timo Werner's pace but he was continually thwarted by the impressive Pierre Bengtsson. He was unable to prevent Stuttgart from setting Alexandru Maxim up with a chance to shoot, only for Karius to make another crucial save and deny the Romanian from the edge of the area.
The league positions of both sides looked like they had been reversed in the opening half and the visitors came agonisingly close to opening the scoring again. After a long free-kick was headed down to Lukas Rupp, the summer signing struck a powerful volley that skidded onto the base of the post - much to his dismay.
Mainz ended the half on a high with Daniel Brosinski's powerful run and shot forcing Tyton to push the bal over the bar. Malli then had a few chances to try his luck, though Toni Sunjic did a brilliant job in stopping him getting a shot off. The half-time whistle sounded moments later, bringing an end to an even first period.
Mainz denied by terrific Tyton
Stuttgart opted to go for an even more attacking line-up after the break, as Robbie Kruse was brought off the bench for Geoffroy Serey Dié. There was no immediate impact, however, as neither side were able to string together a meaningful set of passes to create a chance of note.
It wasn't until Yoshinori Muto got his first major game that anything of note occurred. After stealing the ball back, Mainz moved forward at pace to set the Japanese forward through on goal. Muto eventually beat the last defender with a clever cut back before Tyton denied him with a fine one-on-one stop.
Things were tough to watch after that, too, as both teams struggled to show their attacking flair. Naturally, the next chance came courtesy of a deflected pass. After what was a good start to the move, Rupp touched the ball into the path of Pablo de Blasis but a stunning save from Tyton - once again - kept the scores level.
That was the final opportunity of the game, in what was a rather dull tussle between the two sides. Mainz were the better team, though a stellar performance from the opposition stopper kept them out. It is a point that does nothing for either side, as Mainz moved into sixth and Stuttgart remained in 17th.