Hamburger SV's winless run against Eintracht Frankfurt continues, but there is little solace for the hosts who continue to struggle.
In a game of two halves, Bruno Labbadia's men dominated the first but found the second tough going.
The two teams made just one change to their line-ups following their previous outings, with both opting for defensive alterations.
HSV dominant in the first half
The opening stages were even, with the majority of the game played on the break. Marc Stendera and Makoto Hasebe both had powerful long-range drives go close, while Emir Spahic headed over from a corner and Aaron Hunt wasted an excellent chance on the break. Despite the frantic pace, young Gideon Jung looked the most accomplished player on the pitch, and seemed to have the time to do what he pleased even though he was being hassled and harried.
After the early to-and-fro, HSV turned on the style. A superb counter attack eventually ended up with Lewis Holtby feeding Artjoms Rudnevs, who spun his man before forcing Lukas Hradecky into a strong save. Nicolai Müller then turned provider for Josip Drmic, who narrowly failed to make contact with the low cross. The visitors continued to pile forward and Gotoku Sakai whipped a curling effort inches over the bar.
Müller continued to look impressive and dangerous in the final stages of the half, and could have made the difference between the game going into the break level and HSV being ahead. He failed to pick out Drmic after hesitating on the ball, but received a pass from his Swiss team-mate to go through on goal. The winger's flicked effort went just past the post, much to the relief of the home faithful.
Frankfurt fail to make few chances pay
Those sighs of relief were quickly met with boos and whistles of frustration, especially after the feeble attacking efforts of their side. Armin Veh responded, bringing on Haris Seferovic at the break for the largely ineffectual Szabolcs Huszti. It was not the tall forward who had the best opportunity after the hour mark, but Hasebe. The Japanese international hit a screaming half volley that whistled past the upright from the edge of the area; Frankfurt were better, but not by much.
The game was a messy midfield battle that neither team were really able to work their way around, even when they did it became a scramble on the edge of the area. The introduction of Seferovic would eventually pay off, as he found Stefan Aigner with two good passes. The first picked out Aigner at the back post, but he was unable to squeeze the ball past René Adler on a tight angle. The second came with a raking ball up field on the break, only for the winger to volley well wide.
Aside from Seferovic, none of the other five substitutions had the desired effect and the game ended goalless. HSV temporarily moved up a place to 10th with the point, while Frankfurt also rose to 14th, increasing the gap between themselves and Bremen to two points. It was most definitely a result that benefited the visitors more than the hosts.