Borussia Dortmund failed to make it two wins from two as they were held to a goalless draw by Hannover in a hard-fought encounter. BVB twice hit the woodwork on a frustrating night for Lucien Favre's men.
Hannover 0-0 Borussia Dortmund
In 52 previous meetings between Hannover 96 and Borussia Dortmund, not one had ended goalless. But that record came to an end at the HDI Arena in Lower Saxony on Friday night as the Reds and the Black-and-Yellows fought out a frustrating 0-0 draw.
The hosts enjoyed most of the possession while the visitors hit the woodwork twice, but the only real sparks came from the pyrotechnics in the away end on a frustrating evening for Lucien Favre's BVB.
Andre Breitenreiter and Hannover, on the other hand, will be much more content with the point.
Just as RB Leipzig did at the Westfalenstadion on matchday one, Hannover pressed Dortmund aggressively from the start and quickly took control of proceedings in midfield.
But unlike RB, they didn't have the razor-sharp Jean-Kevin Augustin up front to give them an early lead and Dortmund, despite being limited to less than a third of the possession, slowly battled their way into the game in a combative first half.
Lucien Favre's men posed little threat up front though, where Marius Wolf started in place of the injured Christian Pulisic alongside Maximillian Philipp and captain Marco Reus. Philipp did have the ball in the Hannover net mid-way through the half but the referee correctly spotted that Wolf had set up the chance from an offside position.
Reus rattles the woodwork
At the other end, Abdou Diallo was kept busy in the Dortmund defense, getting a vital leg in the way of a Maina shot as Hannover continued to enjoy more of the ball but create relatively little. But Dortmund didn't make them pay, and Reus was the chief culprit.
First, after his route to goal opened up thanks to a sloppy Anton header, the German international dragged his shot wide, with replays confirming that Esser got a vital touch. Just moments later, Reus was in again but this time saw a vicious shot fly back off the bar as the half ended goalless.
The second half followed a similar pattern: lots of possession for Hannover to begin with before Dortmund's individual quality produced half-chances. The Black-and-Yellows hit the woodwork again though Philipp before Wolf's cross evaded the sprawling Reus by a matter of centimeters.
Dortmund coach Favre introduced Jadon Sancho late on to little effect, while Hannover substitute Bobby Wood, on for Takuma Asano since halftime, had a huge chance to win it late on before Abdou Diallo last-ditch intervention.
The French under-21 captain and his defensive partner Manuel Akanji did look more composed than last week, but that was probably the only positive for Dortmund on a frustrating evening.
+++++ As it happened: +++++
Hannover 0-0 Dortmund
Neither side is able to find a breakthrough as Hannover and Dortmund play out their first-ever goalless draw. Marco Reus and Maximilian Philipp both hit the woodwork for Dortmund, who were ultimately thwarted by a hard-working and disciplined Hannover side.
90' - Five minutes added on. The home fans don't like it!
89' - Marvin Bakalorz, a holding midfielder, has just come on for Ihlas Bebou, one of Hannover's biggest goalscoring threats. I think they want to hold on for the point.
87' - CHANCE!
Bobby Wood is clean through on goal, but loses his footing as Diallo recovers the position allowing Roman Bürki to pounce on the loose ball.
83' - Jadon Sancho sends in a free-kick. Piszczek gets his head to it, but it's a comfortable save for Esser.
82' - He has been missed.
80' - Fingers crossed...
78' - Second corner comes to nothing. Dortmund try to break, but Maina does enough to get Reus off the ball.
78' - CHANCE!
Corner for Hannover is flicked on at the near post. Waldemar Anton goes for a first time volley which is deflected just past the post by Delaney.
75' - Dortmund fans on social media are calling for Jadon Sancho. Hannover fans want Hendrik Weydandt.
73' - This is a lesson for Dortmund fans. Not every game is going to be a 4-1 win over Leipzig. Some games will be dictated by patience and discipline.
70' - Dortmund just can't break the Hannover lines. They're missing that moment of magic in the final third.
67' - CHANCE!
Wolf is played into acres of space on the left wing, but with Marco Reus bursting through unmarked in the middle, can't pick out the BVB captain with his low cross.
66' - Both sides seem to be gearing up for a late push by conserving energy in the last few minutes.
63' - Philipp looks like he's just come out of a 12-round boxing match, but appears able to continue.
61' - WOODWORK!
Marco Reus' cleared free-kick is put back into the mix by Marius Wolf. Maximilian Philipp get his head to the cross and loops a header onto the far post. He's bloodied up after a clash of heads, which would have felt better if he'd scored the opener. Esser was helpless.
60' - Hannover have more shots in the second half (3) than they had in the whole of the first half (2). The longer it stays a 0-0 the more their confidence will grow.
58' - Not hard to imagine Lucien Favre thinking about changing things up soon. He's got Jadon Sancho and Mario Götze to call upon off the bench.
56' - CHANCE!
Maina drops the shoulder to get Delaney to commit to ground before cutting the ball back to Iver Fossum who sees his shot blocked behind for a corner, which ends with Bebou lashing a volley wide from 25 yards.
54' - It says a lot about how Hannover are forcing this game to be played their way when you see how often Roman Bürki has had to pump the ball long because he has no outlets at the back.
51' - Maina really is having a good game. The youngster skips past a challenge before drilling the ball in low to the front post. Wood gets a touch, but the angle was always against him.
49' - Walace spreads the ball out wide to Albornoz, who takes one touch before teasing the ball into the box. The cross is just over the head of Bobby Wood though.
46' - We've got a half-time change for the hosts as Bobby Wood makes his Hannover league debut, coming on for Takuma Asano, who struggled to make an impact in the first half.
We're back underway at the HDI-Arena. Can either side find a breakthrough in the second half? Let's hope so!
We're still waiting on the opening goal, but there's potential. Hannover have executed a near flawless first-half performance to frustrate Dortmund, who perhaps should be ahead after Reus failed to beat Esser in two one-on-one situations. Still all to play for.
42' - CROSSBAR!
Marco Reus is wreaking havoc having switched flanks. This time Dahoud times the pass to break the offside trap and, having gone across goal last time, Reus goes for a powerful finish at the near post which smashes against the crossbar. So close.
40' - WHAT A CHANCE!
Anton botches a clearance and then loses his footing allow Marco Reus to burst into the box. His shot is save by the tips of Michael Esser's toes. Best chance of the game so far, but that was some save.
38' - It's not that bad...
36' - One player really impressing is Linton Maina. The 19-year-old has been a menace on the ball and off it, tracking back as often as he is bursting forward.
34' - You have to give Hannover credit, they are putting in an exceptional shift so far and refusing to let Dortmund find their rhythm.
31' - Hannover fan view: "This team is a lot of fun."
30' - After sparking into life, the game has slowed down once again. Dortmund may be trying to lull Hannover into a false sense of security or their just not having a lot of joy in breaking down their disciplined opponents.
27' - CHANCE!
Straight down the other end Linton Maina breaks in behind Schmelzer, turning the left-back inside out with a cut inside. However, his shot is scuffed and easily cleared.
25' - OFFSIDE!
Dortmund have the ball in the back of the net through Philipp, but it won't count. Wolf was in an offside position as Witsel tried to knock down Piszczek's cross.
24' - SHOT!
We have our first effort of the game. Dahoud plays a nice one-two with Philipp on the edge of the area, takes a touch before seeing his shot blocked. I think that counts!
21' - Hannover have had 61% of possession so far and won 56% of the challenges. A strong start from the hosts.
20' - We're still waiting on the first shot on goal of the game. Tells you everything you need to know. This one's being played as a disciplined chess match so far.
16' - Lukasz Piszczek goes wrong side of Bebou, but recovers his position well.
15' - Dortmund finally force Hannover to retreat with a positive period of possession. It's all very patient from BVB as they seek out the gaps, but we're yet to see them hit top gear in the final third.
12' - The home fans are celebrating every loose ball won like a world class pass. The 12th man are doing their part!
11' - Long balls keep being launched out of the BVB backline, but they're only a temporary reprieve for the visitors.
10' - We're seeing some uncharacteristic mistakes from Dortmund due to the pressure being applied by Hannover. The hosts have looked very sharp in the opening exchanges.
8' - Hannover are having a lot of joy down the left flank. Miiko Albornoz and Ihlas Bebou are giving Lukasz Piszczek a real run around.
6' - Dortmund have taken the pace out of the game with an extended spell of possession that comes to an end with Axel Witsel misplacing a pass out for a throw in.
4' - Ihlas Bebou, who scored twice in this fixture last season, tries to get to the byline only to overrun the ball out for a goal kick.
3' - A strong travelling contingent
2' - Marcel Schmlezer clips a neat ball over the top for Reus to run onto, but Esser was off his line quickly to snuff out the danger.
20:30 - KICK-OFF!
We're underway in Hanover. Can Borussia Dortmund make it two wins out of two or do the Reds have a trick up their sleeve like last season?
20:28 - Ready to rumble!
Green Day's "Know Your Enemy" rings out around the HDI-Arena, but hopefully both sides can avoid being a Basket Case come the end of the game.
20:20 - The lowdown on tonight's hosts
20:10 - It's not goodbye, it's aufweidersehen...
20:00 - Matchday rewind
Matchday 10 of last season saw Hannover and Dortmund produce one of the more jaw-dropping performances of the campaign. The 96ers led three times as goals from Jonathas, Ihlas Bebou and Felix Klaus cancelled out efforts rom Dan Axel Zagadou and Andriy Yarmolenko. Bebou bagged a brace to put the icing on the cake and the home fans wouldn't say no to a repeat tonight!
19:50 - Wolf is new clothing
Summer signing Marius Wolf makes his first Bundesliga start for Dortmund tonight. The winger was a revelation with Frankfurt last season, playing a key role in the Eagles' German Cup win, whilst chipping in with five goals and nine assists in the Bundesliga.
19:40 - A beautiful evening for it...
19:33 - Team news: Hannover
Two changes for Hannover as Matthias Ostrzolek and Pirmin Schwegler are replaced by Miiko Albornoz and Iver Fossum. Hendrik Wedandt will have to wait for his first start in the top tier.
19:25 - Team news: Dortmund
With Pulisic out injured, Marius Wolf is preferred to Jadon Sancho on the right wing. Up front Maximilian Philipp will be looking to state a better claim for the starting striker role now the Alcacer is waiting in the wings.
19:20 - Sahin bids BVB farewell
One player who definitely won't be featuring in Hanover is Nuri Sahin after the Dortmund fan favorite completed a move to Werder Bremen on deadline day.
In 10 years with the club, the 29-year-old made 274 appearances, scored 26 goals and lifted four trophies.
19:10 - The German Jamie Vardy?
Hendrik Weydandt - who was playing in the fourth division last season and the seventh tier as recently as four years ago - enjoyed a dream debut even if it didn't have the fairytale ending.
The striker stepped off the bench to put Hannover ahead in the 1-1 draw with Bremen and is pushing to start alongside Niclas Füllkrug tonight. What a story!
19:00 - Probable line-ups
We'll find out the confirmed team in about 30 minutes time. For now here's our best guess...
Hannover: Esser – Sorg, Anton (c), Wimmer, Ostrzolek – Bebou, Schwegler, Walace, Maina – Weydandt, Füllkrug
Dortmund: Bürki – Piszczek, Akanji, Diallo, Schmelzer – Dahoud, Witsel, Delaney – Sancho, Philipp, Reus (c)
18:50 - Patience required with Alcacer
Two players set to miss out tonight are Christian Pulisic and new signing Paco Alcacer, who have not been named in BVB's Matchday squad due to lingering fitness concerns.
The Spanish striker, who has joined on a one-year loan from Barcelona on Tuesday, is looking to breathe new life into his career after struggling to break-through in Barca's star-studded side.
18:40 - Mixed fortunes on Matchday 1
Borussia Dortmund are looking to build on their eye-catching 4-1 win over RB Leipzig last time out, while Hannover will be hoping to go one better than their 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen on the opening day.
18:30 - Matchday 2 kicks off with a humdinger
Hello and welcome one and all to DW's live coverage of the Matchday 2 curtain-raiser between Hannover 96 and Borussia Dortmund.
This fixture ended in a 4-2 win for Hannover last season with Ihlas Bebou bagging a brace in one of the biggest shocks of the campaign. We wouldn't say no to a similar outcome tonight...