Fortuna Düsseldorf held VfB Stuttgart to a goalless draw in their Friday night Bundesliga meeting at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Stuttgart improved after a poor first half performance, but were wasteful in front of goal, whilst Ron-Robert Zieler was called into action on numerous occasions with the visitiors having the better chances to break the deadlock.
Stuttgart remain without a win after their first four games of the season. Düsseldorf have five points from the same number of games.
Stuttgart struggle to find their groove
Stuttgart got their first point on the board last week in the thrilling 3-3 draw at SC Freiburg, meanwhile Düssedlorf picked up their first win against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Both sides made just one change – Dennis Aogo was replaced by Chadrac Akolo for the hosts, whilst Benito Raman returned for Fortuna at the expense of Rouwen Hennings. Dodi Lukebakio, who scored the winner from the spot last weekend, remained on the bench.
Despite getting the three goals last week, Stuttgart weren’t able to get it going here. There had a few half chances but couldn’t make the most of them. Meanwhile for Dusseldorf, unthreatened by their predecessors as 2. Bundesliga champions, Alfredo Morales went over from outside of the area.
Die Roten kept plugging away with little reward. Nicólas González went wide with one chance, before an Akolo shot tested the hands of Michael Rensing. He spilled the ball, but neither Mario Gómez nor González could do anything with the loose ball. Raman meanwhile was playing well for Düsseldorf, having an effort saved by Ron-Robert Zieler.
The latter stages of the half saw little change to the state of way. Gómez blasted wide in front of goal after being found by González cross, whilst Niko Gießelmann’s attempt from range proved too ambitious as well, but Friedhelm Funkel’s men would have been happy with their first half efforts. It remained goalless at the break.
Stuttgart improve but Zieler kept busy
The second half brought more action. Gómez put another poor effort wide, although at least it took a deflection, however Stuttgart looked vulnerable at the back. They struggled to deal with a succession of Düsseldorf corners, with Kaan Ayhan denied by Zieler after Marvin Ducksch’s head down, whilst Zieler came to the rescue again when Marcel Sobottka connected directly with Jean Zimmer’s corner.
Stuttgart kept pushing, but their finishing remained poor. González rushed a header as he went wide following an Andreas Beck cross, doing likewise with a Emiliano Insúa cross, with Christian Gentner going over too. Ducksch, looking for his first league goal for Düsseldorf meanwhile kept Zieler busy with a shot from the right-hand side of the box, with Adam Bodzek shooting over the bar as well.
Both coaches rung the changes, with some effort. Hennings was through for Düsseldorf, but rightly penalised for a push on Timo Baumgartl, whilst a shot from Erik Thommy went wide, although Gómez did try to divert it towards goal, failing to connect with the ball.
Zieler was keeping his side in it at the other end though. He kept out a Morales effort, which took a slight deflection off Benjamin Pavard, with his foot, and another poorly defender corner gave a chance to Ayhan again, his header saved by the former Germany goalkeeper. The ball came back to him and he was penalised for handball before making way too much of a collision with Zieler.
Düsseldorf would though come away with a respectable point on the road in Stuttgart, but the hosts remain too close to the bottom end of the table for their liking, with plenty of whistles from their fans at full-time.