Stuttgart stalemate no help

While Stuttgart did most of the attacking in the goalless draw, Hertha went closest to scoring with less than 10 minutes remaining through Nico Schulz, who was later sent off.

Had that gone in, Huub Stevens’ second spell on the Stuttgart bench would have been as good as over, although even the draw might not be enough for the Dutchman with the possibility of the gap to safety growing to seven points this weekend.

Stevens really needed a win to save his job and, for much of the first half, there looked a reasonable chance of that happening.

With the inventive Alexandru Maxim and enterprising Timo Werner, Stuttgart looked much livelier than in any of their previous games of late.

Werner wasted a good chance to give them the lead after 15 minutes before Christian Gentner had a shot saved.

Valentin Stocker provided a rare moment of danger at the other end, but Sven Ulreich was equal to it before a dangerous low cross from Werner was turned just past his own post by Marvin Plattenhardt.

There was slightly less intensity to Stuttgart’s game in the second half, although they continued to have more of possession and most of the chances.

Daniel Ginczek lifted the ball over from six yards out as it squirmed loose in the penalty area, but it did not look like it would be Stuttgart’s night.

It could have got even worse in the 81st minute when Salomon Kalou put Schulz through, but with the goal at his mercy, he dragged his shot inches wide of the far post.

Hertha had to change goalkeeper Thomas Kraft for the final minutes after an earlier clash with Georg Niedermeier, which the referee failed to spot, left him concussed.

That delay led to seven minutes being added on, but that was only enough for Schulz to pick up a second yellow card as Stuttgart remained rooted to the foot of the Bundesliga, four points from safety.

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