Accompanied by new rumors surrounding sporting director jorg schmadtke, hannover 96 has lost important points on the way to its third european cup appearance in a row.
In what was at best a mabby game at the end of the 28th minute. On the 13th matchday of the fubball bundesliga, niedersachsen only managed a 0-0 draw against vfb stuttgart. In front of 46,000 spectators at the AWD arena, defense dominated on both sides against harmless and despondent attacking lines. Significant for the game: referee christian dingert did not even have to show yellow.
"The teams neutralized each other," 96 coach mirko slomka analyzed the encounter. "We had too many technical errors."His vfb colleague bruno labbadia didn't really know what to make of the game either: "it was a strange game. 96-captain steven cherundolo still tried to find the positive in the muden zero number: "to stay without conceding a goal is important for us. As long as we play to zero, we score points."
The stuttgart team could live with the point in the duel in hannover better than the hosts. Lower saxony (38 points) are now four points behind sixth place in the european cup and are ninth, while vfb (33) have moved up to 13th in the table. Its gap to the relegation place to nine points. The stuttgart team wants to reach the european cup via the dfb cup.
More excitement around hannover 96 than on the pitch. Sports director schmadtke again had to deny rumors of a resignation at the end of the season. The newspaper "bild" had reported that, according to their information, the 49-year-old wanted to say goodbye to hannover because of the long-running quarrels with slomka.
"I'm fully into planning for the new season," schmadtke told TV station sky. Counterpart slomka was surprised about the recent speculation: "I know nothing about anything. I assume that we will continue to work together in the next season."
During half-time one, club boss martin kind was also chanted by some 96-ultras. Kind has been at loggerheads with the hardcore fans for a long time because he had repeatedly criticized them after controversial actions.
There was not much of the same passion on the pitch. Slomka had changed his team in five positions compared to the successful, but also weak performance at FC augsburg. Captain steven cherundolo also made his first appearance in the second half of the season after injury. At least he gave his defense a sense of security. Impulses forward, however, he also did not set.
Vfb stuttgart hardly had any effort to control the game against the uninspiring hosts. But even the swabians were not particularly conspicuous with forward thrust. As a result, there was little chance of scoring or even creating a goal.
Even after the break the picture did not change. Both teams waited for counter-attacking opportunities from a safe defensive position. Meanwhile, nothing happened in terms of play. Shinji okazaki scored for vfb in the 52nd minute. In the 16th minute, the first chance to score in the game, but his shot from 16 meters was too weak. Seven minutes later, hannover's da silva pinto only hit the roof of the net. In the final phase, hannover tried a little harder to score – but it remained a struggle.
Ball possession in %: 51.7 – 48.3 goals scored: 13 – 14 gew. Duels in %: 45.2 – 54.8 fouls: 22 – 9 corners: 6 – 6