|I||Sparta Praha||19:00||H. Kiryat Shmona|
A resolute defensive display helped FC København frustrate VfB Stuttgart and earn a valuable away point in UEFA Europa League Group E.
Having taken just one point from their first two outings, Stuttgart were under pressure to make the most of home advantage and they duly showed the more attacking intent. København, however, came into the match having lost only one of their last nine games in all competitions – at FC Steaua Bucureşti on matchday two – and showed plenty of resilience to extend that sequence to one in ten as they stayed second in the standings.
The first half proved to be a tight affair with neither side able to trouble their opponents' rearguard. Stuttgart, denied the services of Cacau by a knee injury that will keep the German international striker on the sidelines for the rest of the group stage, were shorn of a cutting edge although Christian Gentner had a shot blocked from a corner. At the other end, César Santin almost got on the end of Lars Jacobsen's low cross but failed to get enough purchase on an improvised flick.
Stuttgart started the second period with more purpose, Vedad Ibišević drawing a save from Johan Wiland within three minutes. That set the pattern with Stuttgart striving to force the issue and their visitors largely on the back foot but holding them in check, Wiland palming down a Cristian Molinaro header from Gentner's corner and then saving a low shot from half-time substitute Tunay Torun.
Saturday's win at Hamburger SV was just Stuttgart's second in ten matches, however, and they were unable to make the late breakthrough as they sought to improve on that record. They remain bottom of the section, although they will move above their Danish opponents should they win the reverse fixture on matchday four.
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