VfL Wolfsburg huffed and puffed, but failed to blow TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's house down in a frustrating afternoon for them at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
Both teams started with verve, playing two-touch football when on the ball and harrying to win it back quickly when dispossessed. Hoffenheim nearly drew first blood when Nadiem Amiri latched onto Lukas Rupp's deflected shot, but Koen Casteels blocked him from point-blank range. At the other end, Mario Gomez saw a shot palmed away by Oliver Baumann before Julian Draxler pulled the rebound wide. Draxler had another effort tipped onto the woodwork and the sides went into the interval goalless.
Amiri came close again for the hosts at the start of the second half, but after getting sight of goal he fizzed his shot into the outside side-netting. Baumann then made a smart double-save from Gomez on the hour, stopping the Germany striker's header and follow-up shot. Jeffrey Bruma crashed a header from a corner onto the cross-bar, and frustration nearly turned to desperation for Wolfsburg in the dying minutes, but Sandro Wagner lost his balance in the box and sent his effort wide as it ended honours even.
Wolfsburg missed the presence of Daniel Didavi in midfield. Didavi bossed the opening-day 2-0 win at FC Augsburg before picking up a knee injury in the 0-0 draw with 1. FC Köln, and although Gerhardt and Arnold ran hard, the former VfB Stuttgart man's inspiration will be welcome when he returns.
- The first time Wolfsburg have ever kept a clean sheet in their opening three games.Jakub Blaszczykowski made his 200th Bundesliga appearance.First goalless draw in 18 meetings between the teams.
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Rudy, Süle (Vogt 37'), Bicakcic, Kaderabek - Polanski (c) - Rupp, Amiri (Szalai 79') - Uth, Wagner, Kramaric (Demirbay 66')
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Vieirinha, Bruma, Wollscheid, Rodriguez - Arnold, Gerhardt - Blaszczykowski (c) (Henrique 70'), Draxler (Seguin 86'), Caligiuri (Horn 81') - Gomez
Coach: Dieter Hecking