Cologne (dpa) - Desolate zero number instead of liberation: 1. FC Cologne and Hertha BSC have missed the victory, which is also important for their coach, in a direct duel.
After the 0-0 on the penultimate matchday of the first half of the season, Cologne has been waiting for a home win for 14 games and eleven months and is still on the relegation spot.
In addition, FC have now been without a goal for five games or 485 minutes.
Coach Markus Gisdol, who only got a job guarantee for this game from sports director Horst Heldt, is still under intense pressure.
And the pressure on his Berlin colleague Bruno Labbadia - who was FC's preferred candidate before Gisdol took office in November 2019 - is not reduced by the away point after another uninspired performance.
Hertha have only won one of the last six games, they are still only five points ahead of FC, while the longed-for European Cup place is already nine points away.
For both, it was only the start of the weeks of truth, because direct competitors are also waiting for the upcoming tasks: Cologne will play one after the other on Schalke, in Hoffenheim and against Bielefeld, while Hertha will host Hoffenheim and Bremen in the English week.
In terms of personnel, both coaches reacted completely differently to the disappointment of the past weekend.
While Gisdol swapped five players and almost half the team after the 5-0 defeat at SC Freiburg, Labbadia gave everyone the chance to make amends.
The only change was due to injury, with Krzystof Piatek replacing Marvin Plattenhardt.
Labbadia changed her wardrobe for this: the camel-colored coat that he had always worn in recent weeks had served its purpose as a good luck charm.
Labbadia was now wearing black.
Both teams were quite willing to set an example.
The game was playful, however, heavy fare, even from the significantly higher-minded guests.
At the break, the balance showed a remarkable 6: 5 shots on goal, but only a few were worth mentioning.
Hertha had better opportunities.
Krzystof Piatek failed to Timo Horn (13th), Peter Pekarik aimed too high (14th), Lucas Tousart shot Pekarik in the back (33rd).
Cologne tried it more often than in the last few weeks on the outside, but the numerous flanks rarely found buyers without a striker.
The later injured captain Jonas Hector had the best chance with a shot to the side netting (45th + 1).
After the move, the game didn't get any better.
Marius Wolf missed a good Cologne chance (59th).
At Hertha came Matheus Cunha (60th) and provided isolated playful highlights.
He served Piatek, who narrowly missed (74th) and Matteo Guendouzi, who hit the post (83rd).
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210116-99-52539 / 2
Information about the game at bundesliga.de