1. FC Köln reports back with an unlikely victory in the relegation battle: Jonas Hector leads the team to success against RB Leipzig.
Friedhelm Funkel paced up and down the sideline, and the substitute match winner Jonas Hector did not keep it on the bench – and the final whistle was then lost in the collective roar of jubilation at 1. FC Köln: Thanks to Hector, the Rhinelander have a great win against RB Leipzig celebrated and heralded the final spurt in the relegation battle.
In the second game under “Fireman” Funkel, the FC won 2-1 (0-0) and thus shortened the gap to the safe bank. “In general, I don’t care who scores the goals,” said Hector at Sky: “We have missed them in the last few weeks, also because I messed up a few things. Today everyone did everything for the win. That is absolutely important for the coming weeks. “
The captain scored his first Bundesliga brace (46th / 60th), Amadou Haidara (59th) only equalized in the meantime. The FC remains in 17th place in a direct relegation zone, but in the remaining games on Friday at FC Augsburg and SC Freiburg, against Hertha BSC and Schalke 04, they are more likely to face opponents on an equal footing.
The second-placed Leipzigers, however, seem to run out of air in the season’s final spurt. The zero number against TSG Hoffenheim was followed by the next disappointment. Since the leaders Bayern Munich have hurried anyway, Julian Nagelsmann had recently asked his players for “intrinsic motivation” – a will to win that is independent of the table standings.
1. FC Köln overwhelmed – but Hector hits twice
RB showed that from kick-off, Cologne was overwhelmed. Last weekend at Funkel’s premiere in Leverkusen (0: 3), despite the defeat, many things worked remarkably well: positional play, ball safety, pulling to the goal. Nothing at all worked against Leipzig at first, as soon as Cologne won a ball, it was gone again.
The guests combined adeptly and perhaps a little too patiently through the opposing half: Apart from an early opportunity by Haidara (3rd), there were hardly any scoring chances despite their superiority. Only with Nordi Mukiele’s shot (36th) and a header from Alexander Sörloth (41st) was RB very close to the lead again.
But the strange handling of one’s own superiority took revenge in the second half after 56 seconds. A strong cross from Jannes Horn found the very free Hector, the captain hit with his head.
Cologne now acted much more courageously, but was also more vulnerable as a result. Leipzig pressed on and didn’t have to combine close to the goal: Haidara hit the corner from 20 meters. In the now wild game, however, only seconds passed when Nagelsmann again complained loudly about his own defense: Hector completed a strong attack to renew the lead – and Cologne survived the last urge phase.