All that was lacking from a feisty affair between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Bayern München were goals, though that was largely down to the eye-catching displays of Bayern's Joshua Kimmich and his Leverkusen counterpart, Jonathan Tah.
Given the array of goalscoring talent on parade, including Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and Stefan Kießling in the home corner and Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller in the opposite camp, the fact neither net bulged at the BayArena may come as something of a surprise to many.
The mystery of the first goalless draw between these two sides in 52 meetings was spun by two young individuals whose names we are likely to hear a lot of in months and years to come: Tah and Kimmich.
Leverkusen defender Tah (l.) soon turns 20, but he emanated the maturity of a seasoned veteran in showing respect but no fear for those he was up against. Just a year ago, he was struggling, on loan to a Fortuna Düsseldorf side languishing at the wrong end of Bundesliga 2. Yet the teenager is now an accomplished centre-back with UEFA Champions League experience who has won over Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt and team-mates alike.
'A grizzly bear'
Following his summer switch from Hamburger SV, Tah is the only member of Die Werkself to have played in every single one of their 31 competitive outings this season, such are the assurances he gives on the pitch. "Jonathan is so mellow, he's a giant," said Kevin Kampl. "I don't think I've got a 19-year-old behind me, I think I'm backed by a grizzly bear. He throws himself into everything and does a world-class job for a 19-year-old."
His statistics told the rest of the story. With 71 per cent of his tackles won, nobody could match him against Bayern. He won all ten of his individual duels with Lewandowski, whose first blank of 2016 can thus be attributed to his fearless marker.
'Big Mike', as he is called by his team-mates, in reference to the leading protagonist of the American football film 'Blind Side', excelled with Germany assistant coach Thomas Schneider watching on. "It's an honour for me, but I'm just focused on my own job and our next game," Tah said of Schneider's presence.
Schneider did not see only one interesting candidate for UEFA EURO 2016 on Saturday, however. Keeping Chicharito and Kießling quiet was another upcoming birthday boy, who once again played out of position - not that anybody would have noticed.
With Jerome Boateng and Medhi Benatia both injured, midfielder-cum-centre-back Javi Martinez sidelined and January arrival Serdar Tasci also laid low, Kimmich - a midfielder by trade - has been pressed into emergency action.
However, in his two games alongside Bayern's sole fit, recognised centre-back, Holger Badstuber, at the heart of the defence, the record German champions have not conceded an inch, nevermind a goal. "Joshua did a great job and we are a team, covering for the absence of several players who belong here [in the defence]," said 26-year-old Badstuber, six years his partner's senior.
'Just look who he was up against, yet neither of them got a sniff' - Guardiola
Against a man 15cm taller and 12kg heavier in Kießling, Kimmich showed how agility and timing can neutralise those discrepancies as he did not give his rival "a sniff", as his coach Pep Guardiola acknowledged, picking out the former VfB Stuttgart youngster once again for a "huge compliment."