Alexander Meier hit the post twice for Frankfurt, who were frustrated by their failure to get the better of a Bremen side deprived of Felix Kroos for a good hour, during which they defended the draw.
Only goal difference separated the two clubs coming into the match, but the hosts were by far the better team early on. Joselu had a shot pushed just wide wide by Raphael Wolf before Meier grazed the outside of the post with a free-kick curled wickedly around the wall.
Bremen's sizeable following of fans had to wait until the 25th minute to witness their team's first shot on goal, although it was they who were threatened more by the trajectory of Cedrick Makiadi's effort than the Frankfurt goal. The hosts dominated possession and continued to have the better of the opportunities, but their route to goal was constantly barred by at least one white shirt.
Backs to the wall
To complicate matters for Bremen, Kroos picked up a second yellow card in the 34th minute, leaving the visitors with little choice but to defend for the remainder of the match.
Unsurprisingly, Frankfurt set up camp in the Bremen half, probing constantly to find a way through. It became a test of patience for them and a test of resolve for Bremen, who succeeded in keeping Wolf sufficiently out of the firing line until the final 20 minutes of the game when another curling effort from Meier again only narrowly missed the target.
Bremen hold out
Takashi Inui came on, followed for the final ten minutes by Vaclav Kadlec, the man whose brace helped Frankfurt to a 3-0 win at the Weser-Stadion earlier in the season. At this stage, Bremen no longer had a midfield but rather eight players lined up in front of Wolf, leaving just Di Santo close to the halfway line, but rarely encroaching on enemy territory.
Bremen lost sight of Meier once with almost dire consequences, but when the imposing forward placed a free header against the outside of the left-hand post, it seemed like it simply was not going to be Frankfurt's day. The two teams thus remain separated by goal difference alone, perched precariously above the drop zone.
Line-ups and statistics