The visitors went in front through Marco Russ, before Timo Werner became Stuttgart's youngest ever goalscorer, equalising two minutes later in an end-to-end encounter.
Frankfurt coach Armin Veh stated before the game that the self-belief carried over from the UEFA Europa League victory over FC Girondins de Brodeaux would prove vital, and he was vindicated almost immediately, as Johannes Flum volleyed an excellent chance wide after only seven minutes. That opportunity, created from out wide, was a harbinger of things to come, as in the 14th minute Russ made it 1-0 to the visitors, driving the ball home from close-range after a Tranquillo Barnetta corner.
However, Stuttgart, wearing a commemorative kit to mark the club’s 120th anniversary, left the Eagles with no time to savour Russ’ second goal in as many games, equalising through Werner just two minutes later. After Frankfurt failed to clear a corner, 17-year-old Werner was waiting unmarked at the back post to nod home and become the third-youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history.
After the initial excitement provided by the goals, the game morphed into a more cautious affair. Frankfurt were content to use their possession to seek out the lively wing pairing of Barnetta and Stefan Aigner, whose link-up with the indefatigable Vaclav Kadlec was promising, but too irregular to worry their hosts. Stuttgart preferred to try and find Ibisevic from the flanks, and in the 28th minute captain Christian Gentner put in the best of a host of crosses towards the Bosnian, who couldn’t quite connect with the inswinging delivery.
After a Martin Harnik half-chance hit the side netting just after the restart, Frankfurt began to reimpose themsevles. Kadlec went closest to adding to the scoreline in the 55th minute, but he could not make enough contact on Aigner's low centre, wary of making a heavy collision with the onrushing Sven Ulreich.
Ten minutes later Alexandru Maxim did put the ball in the net, but it was disallowed after Ibisevic had strayed into an offside position. While the 29-year-old was left hanging his head after that, worse was still to come for the forward.
With time running out, VfB were awarded a last-minute penalty for a foul on Ibrahima Traore, but Ibisevic could only skew his effort high and wide. Overall, however, neither side could have too many complaints about the result after an evenly-matched encounter.
Line-ups and statistics