Bayer Leverkusen missed the chance to climb to second, but remain one of only two unbeaten teams in this season's Bundesliga after being held to a goalless draw by Hertha Berlin.
Leverkusen had to make do without seven-goal top scorer Lucas Alario, with summer signing Patrik Schick returning from an injury problem of his own to lead the line. The Czech Republic international showed some nice touches on his first Bundesliga start since Matchday 3, invariably with 17-year-old Florian Wirtz pulling the strings. That said, visiting goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow only had two real saves to make in a keenly contested first half, beating away long-range efforts from Leon Bailey and Kerem Demirbay. Hertha's clearest openings fell the way of Dodi Lukebako early on, with the Belgian inches away from meeting Dedryck Boyata's teasing cross and firing tamely at Lukas Hradecky soon after.
Leverkusen took charge of the possession count in the second half, but had to wait until around the hour-mark to threaten the Hertha goal as Demirbay whipped a free-kick narrowly past the upright. Hertha continued to keep the hosts at arm's length, while themselves only threatening sporadically as an attacking unit. Hradecky had little trouble collecting a left-wing cross from Marvin Plattenhardt on one such occasion but was otherwise untested in the closing stages. Leverkusen stay third in the Bundesliga - three points behind leaders Bayern Munich - with Hertha also non-movers in 13th after nine rounds of fixtures.
- Leverkusen have claimed 13 points from their last five, putting them joint top of the form table alongside Bayern and unbeaten Wolfsburg.
- Schick scored 10 times in the Bundesliga whilst on loan at RB Leipzig last season. He has scored once in five for Leverkusen.
- Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz oversaw his 85 competitive game in charge. His record reads: W50, D13, L22.
- Hertha's Matheus Cunha failed to score following a run of four goals in three straight league games.
- Leverkusen defender Aleksandar Dragovic made his first Bundesliga start since 20 June 2020.
- A second-half substitute for the injured Dragovic, Tin Jedvaj made his first Bundesliga appearance of the 2020/21 season.
Watch: Schick: "We didn't create enough chances"
Leverkusen: Hradecky - L. Bender (c), Tah, Dragovic (Jedvaj 74'), Sinkgraven - Wirtz, Baumgartlinger, Demirbay - Bailey, Schick, Diaby
Unused subs: Grill, Lomb, Wendell, Weiser, Gedikli
Out: Alario (knee), Amiri (illness), Aranguiz (Achilles tendon), Arias (ankle), S. Bender (ankle), Bellarabi (thigh), Palacios (back), Paulinho (knee), Tapsoba (not included)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Hertha: Schwolow - Pekarik, Boyata (c), Alderete (Dardai 75'), Plattenhardt - Stark, Guendouzi - Lukebakio (Ngankam 70'), Darida, Cunha - Piatek (Leckie 70')
Unused subs: Mittelstädt, Zeefuik, Tousart, Löwen, Dilrosun, Jarstein
Out: Ascacibar (muscular), Cordoba (ankle), Torunarigha (ankle)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia
Watch: Guendouzi: "Bundesliga much more attack than Premier League"