Neither Bochum nor VfB Stuttgart were able to kick-start their seasons with a much-needed win on Sunday, instead settling for a point apiece after a battling 0-0 draw.
The home side were determined to get past their seven-goal drubbing at the hands of defending champions Bayern Munich last weekend and greeted visitors Stuttgart with fast, aggressive football in Sunday’s early fixture. Thomas Reis's side battled for every ball and visiting goalkeeper Florian Müller had to be alert to keep out Gerrit Holtmann and Sebastian Polter, although clear-cut openings were at a premium in a full-blooded encounter. Stuttgart weren’t without their chances, and went close to an early lead from a Konstantinos Mavropanos header after a Borna Sosa cross, but neither side could find a way through their opponents’ defences and returned to the dressing room with the scores level.
Having been second-best in the first half, Stuttgart made two changes at halt-time in hopes of turning the tide. As a result, the visitors looked better able to offer greater resistance and even had the ball in the back of the net when Mavropanos collected a cross in the area and put it away like a striker, only to have his strike ruled out for handball. That seemed to kick the second-half into high gear, with chances coming at both ends. However, this was an afternoon for the defenders and Bochum managed to see off anything Stuttgart through at them in a draw that was ultimatley a fair result for both sides.
- Simon Zoller, absent through injury here, has been directly involved in all of Bochum's four goals two far this season (two goals, two assists).
- Bochum coach Reis played for the Stuttgart youth team in 1989/90.
- Bochum may feel that they should have found the target, with an xG rating of 1.08, compared to Stuttgart’s 0.32.
- Stuttgart have only won two of seven Bundesliga matches not involving Sasa Kalajdzic, and five of 20 not involving a Kalajdzic goal.
- Stuttgart are unbeaten in nine Bundesliga games against Bochum (W6, D3) - their longest unbowed run against all top-flight opponents.
- Stuttgart ended the match with the lion’s share of possession (53 per cent).
Watch: Matarazzo: “If we improve, the points will come”
Bochum: Riemann - Bockhorn, Masovic, Bella Kotchap, Soares - Löwen (Tesche 78'), Losilla (c) (Stafylidis 84'), Rexhbecaj - Antwi-Adjei (Asano 71'), Polter, Holtmann (Blum 84')
Unused subs: Esser, Osterhage, Lampropoulos, Pantovic, Ganvoula
Out: Gamboa (elbow), Leitsch (thigh), Zoller (knee)
Coach: Thomas Reis
Stuttgart: Müller - Mavropanos (Kempf 85'), Karazor, Anton - Coulibaly (Massimo 85'), Mangala (Didavi 85'), Endo (c), Sosa - Klimowicz (Führich 46'), Marmoush – Al Ghaddioui (Thommy 46')
Unused subs: Bredlow, Mola, Klement, Ito
Out: Ahamada (ankle), Cisse (foot), Egloff (foot), Förster (ill), Kalajdzic (shoulder), Sankoh (knee), Silas (unavailable)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo