Adam Szalai (front) was unable to add to his nine league goals for Mainz at home to SC Freiburg
Adam Szalai (front) was unable to add to his nine league goals for Mainz at home to SC Freiburg

All square in Mainz

Mainz - Two of the season's surprise packages, 1. FSV Mainz 05 and SC Freiburg, continued their impressive string of results by taking a point apiece in a 0-0 draw on Saturday.

Differing approaches

The result was an entirely fair reflection of the afternoon's events, with goalmouth action almost non-existent in a tie dominated by the midfields.

There was a curios juxtaposition on display at the Coface Arena, where two clubs with opposing, yet equally successful philosophies went head-to-head. The visitors count on experience to get results, with the average age in the starting XI over four years older than their Freiburg counterparts. Nevertheless, both had collected 26 points prior to this meeting and each harbour realistic ambitions of finishing in the European spots come the end of the season.

It was initially clear to see why Thomas Tuchel's men had won six of their previous eight home matches this term, as Mainz pressed high up the pitch early on, not allowing their guests any time to settle. Freiburg weathered the storm, though, and soon began to exert their own influence on the game, albeit without threatening to break the deadlock. Nikolce Noveski's close-range effort just before the break was as close as either side came to a goal.

As you were

The stalemate continued long into the second half with neither side able to make any significant headway in attack. Promising breaks at both ends petered out all too easily and the action was soon confined to a congested midfield battle.

The draw was a first at home for Mainz this season, while it extended Freiburg's unbeaten away run to sixth successive matches. The guests remain sixth in the table, ahead of their hosts on goal difference alone.

Line-ups and statistics