In a match between two evenly-balanced teams, the best two defences in the Bundesliga provided a predictable result. 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Hertha BSC have conceded just eleven goals between them in 14 matches, and a scoreless draw was always going to be a good bet.
Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz made four changes to the team that had lost at Schalke, two of which were enforced. 'Keeper Florian Müller and Robin Quaison were replaced by Caricol Aaron and Jonathan Burkardt, while Jean-Paul Boëtius and Jonathan Burkardt came in for Levin Öztunali and Gaetan Bussmann.
Happy with the way his team has started this season, Hertha's Pál Dárdai only made two changes to what is starting to look like a settled starting eleven. Norwegian goalkeeper Rune Jarstein was back from injury and replaced Thomas Kraft, while Marvin Plattenhardt came in for Max Mittelstädt.
Mainz on top in first half
The home side started strongly, closing their opponents down without risking too much. The first chance would fall to Burkardt in the tenth minute, but there was not much to speak of for the opening quarter.
The Berliners had been well marshalled, but as against Bayern they showed how they can create something from nothing. Against the run of play, the visitors came close opening the scoring when skipper Vedad Ibišević's header hit the upright. It was the only first half offering from the capital city side.
At the other end, Jarstein was forced into making a good save from Jean-Philippe Gbamin (38.), and shouts from the home side for a penalty were waved away when Burkardt looked to have been brought down. It was a poor decision from referee Daniel Schlager, who chose not to consult the video assistant.
Slow-boiling second half, but no goals
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first. There were few opportunities early on, but more as the match approached its conclusion. Though in truth neither goalkeeper had to pull out any stops.
Both teams cancelled each other out, and it is not hard to see why both of them have been tight at the back this season.
Hertha sub Davie Selke headed narrowly wide (64.), while both Jean-Philippe Mateta (70.) and Gbamin (75.) went close for Schwarz's men. The problem was that there was little actually on target. Right at the death, a Selke header was blocked.
Result: 1. FSV Mainz 05 0 Hertha BSC 0