Better, but again no points: Sparkling still does not bring the turning point in Cologne

Better, but again no points
Sparkling still does not bring the turning point in Cologne

Friedhelm Funkel is supposed to save 1. FC Köln from relegation – but in the Rheinderby of the Bundesliga against Bayer Leverkusen, his engagement does not yet bring anything countable. After all: the Cologne team show a decent performance.

Decent performance, no points: After an unfortunate derby defeat at the debut of the new coach Friedhelm Funkel, 1. FC Köln staggered towards the seventh relegation from the Bundesliga. The Cologne team lost 3-0 (0-1) at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday evening and are now three points behind and one game more than Hertha BSC on the relegation place penultimate. Leon Bailey (5th / 76th) and Moussa Diaby (51st) scored the goals for the Werkself.

Curious: In January 2020, Funkel had also conceded a 0: 3 in Leverkusen in his last Bundesliga game with Fortuna Düsseldorf. FC have now been without a win for nine games and only scored two of 27 points during this period. In Leverkusen all bad luck for the FC came together from the early conceding goal over two crossbar hits to a withdrawn penalty.

Leverkusen, on the other hand, overtook Borussia Dortmund in fifth place for at least one night and underpinned their European Cup ambitions with seven points from three games under coach Hannes Wolf. Fourth place and thus qualification for the Champions League is six points away five games before the end of the season. In order to achieve it, Bayer would have to improve a lot compared to Saturday.

Bayer wobbles behind

The results in the afternoon gave Bayer a boost in motivation. After the defeats at Wolfsburg and Frankfurt, the Champions League suddenly appeared on the horizon again. And they immediately followed up. Funkel was less than five minutes back on the Bundesliga stage when he had to register the first goal. Diaby let Jannes Horn get out, Leon Bailey used his cross after a positional error by Kingsley Ehizibue with a header from close range. Keeper Timo Horn just watched the ball.

Funkel, who watched the game almost completely standing on the edge of the coaching zone with his hands in his pockets, had not sent his team, which had been changed to four positions, to the wall on the lawn anyway. But now the Cologne had to be really active. They did that quite nicely. It paid off that the headquarters were well staffed with Jonas Hector, Ellyes Skhiri and Max Meyer. Captain Hector then had the first chance to equalize, he headed just past Jannes Horn’s cross from seven meters (20th).

Bayer allowed themselves to be pushed too far on the defensive and proved to be quite shaky, especially Tin Jedvaj was a factor of uncertainty. After 34 minutes, Cologne was looking forward to a penalty. Referee Sören Storks had whistled, but was advised that the contact between Charles Aranguiz and Marius Wolf was outside the penalty area. Hector pulled the ball sharply on goal and hit the crossbar. Bayer only got another chance in the 45th minute with a header from Patrik Schick.

After the change, the game began with the third chance from Hector, who narrowly missed (47th). After a corner of their own, the Cologne finally ran into a counterattack. Diaby closed it and made the preliminary decision. Cologne did not give up, however, Florian Kainz hit the crossbar from 25 meters (63rd). Almost a quarter of an hour later, Bailey sealed the Cologne defeat with the 3-0.