Stuttgart held by Bremen
Last Updated: 05/10/13 5:40pm
Gotoku Sakai in action for Stuttgart
Stuttgart remained unbeaten under the guidance of Thomas Schneider, but missed the chance to move up to fourth in the Bundesliga after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen.
Martin Harnik scored against his former club in the sixth minute to give Stuttgart a familiar lead since Schneider took charge, but Nils Petersen levelled against the run of play for the visitors before the break.
Stuttgart searched for a winner, but were forced to settle for a point, their 11th out of a possible 15 under their new coach.
Stuttgart have looked rejuvenated since Schneider replaced Bruna Labbadia as coach, winning three and drawing two of their past five games.
With the confidence that streak has given them, they launched an immediate assault on the Bremen goal.
In the second minute, Ibrahima Traore was denied from a tight angle by Mielitz, who then made another great reflex save to prevent Vedad Ibisevic from putting the hosts in front.
The home fans did not have to wait much longer before celebrating the opening goal with Harnik arriving at the far post to head in Alexandru Maxim's free-kick, which was flicked on at the near post.
It was the creative Romanian's sixth assist of the season and Harnik's first goal on a rare appearance in the starting XI, and against his former club.
Aaron Hunt had a rare pot shot for Bremen, who rarely looked threatening until they mustered an equaliser against the run of play.
Zlatko Junuzovic's first cross was cleared straight back to him, but he did better with the second attempt, finding Petersen in the six-yard box, and the former Bayern Munich forward pounced like a true striker to turn the ball in.
The Swabians sent seven shots raining in on the Bremen goal in the first 15 minutes of the second half, albeit without finding the back of the net as the visitors frustrated them, showing a new level of defensive discipline and organisation since Robin Dutt took charge in the summer.
It was enough for them to hold on to a point and remain level with Stuttgart in the standings with both sides within touching distance of the top six.