VfB Stuttgart and Fortuna Düsseldorf fought out a competitive goalless draw in the Mercedes-Benz Arena
VfB Stuttgart and Fortuna Düsseldorf fought out a competitive goalless draw in the Mercedes-Benz Arena

Stuttgart continue to falter

Stuttgart - Bruno Labbadia's VfB Stuttgart continued their poor start to the campaign with a docile 0-0 draw at home to newly-promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf. Norbert Meier's team were on the defensive for long periods of the game but still held a rather uninventive Stuttgart attack at bay with apparent ease, claiming their third clean sheet of the season.

Trading Blows

Typified by the tenacity of captain Andreas Lambertz, making his Bundesliga debut with Düsseldorf and thus becoming the only player to have played in the top four divisions of German football with one team, Düsseldorf got in amongst their more illustrious opponents. Stuttgart dominated possession in the early periods of the opening half and came close through a speculative half-volley from Tamas Hajnal.

Norbert Meier's side were then given a huge reprieve when Martin Harnik was released down the right, but he allowed his weak cross to be cleared by Stelios Mazelas, denying Cacau what would have been a tap-in. The home side were not without their moments in the first half, however. Dani Schahin, recalled to the starting eleven in place of Stefan Reisinger, forced a save from Sven Ulreich and Oliver Fink sent a whistling drive from distance just over the bar as the sides went in level at the interval.

VfB toothless

The second period followed much the same pattern, with Düsseldorf content to withhold pressure from Stuttgart. Labbadia's team were enjoying plenty of possession, but they looked distinctly short on ideas up front and badly missed the guile of suspended striker Vedad Ibisevic.
Harnik was a peripheral figure and, although Cacau forced an excellent stop from Fabian Giefer, the away side appeared untroubled at the back. Stuttgart did force a succession of corners in second-half stoppage time, but none of them amounted to more than a hopeful punt into the box, as Düsseldorf held out comfortably for a point.

Meier's charges are remarkably still the only side in the division yet to concede a goal; Stuttgart's wait for a first win of the campaign goes on.

Bernie Reeves