Stuttgart – 1. FC Köln stunned Stuttgart at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena with a 3-1 win that extends their excellent record in the Swabian city.
Köln nearly got off to a flyer with Matthias Lehmann hitting the post, but the danger then shifted to the other end of the field as first Daniel Didavi and then Christian Gentner hit the woodwork with Timo Horn beaten both times.
The hosts increased the pressure in the second half, with Martin Harnik squandering a hat-trick of chances to put them in front, and the Austrian international's profligacy proved costly as Anthony Modeste put the visitors in front from the penalty spot. Simon Zoller swiftly added a second, but Didavi's penalty in reply was not enough for the Swabians to avoid defeat with Yuya Osako wrapping things up in stoppage time.
Man of the match
Always a hive of activity, Daniel Didavi was heavily involved in Stuttgart's play, supplying five of their 12 shots in the first half alone, one striking the crossbar with Timo Horn beaten. His industry, vision and blistering pace with the ball at his feet made him a real handful and this alone will give Stuttgart hope for the season, despite their opening-day defeat.
Stuttgart may want to petition for the goals to be made just an inch or two bigger, having twice been deprived of a goal by the woodwork at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. This lack of accuracy cost Stuttgart dearly on Sunday as they extended their winless home run against Köln to eleven games.
Stats of the match
- At half-time, Stuttgart led with 12-5 shots on target, two hitting the woodwork (plus one for Köln).
- Stuttgart have not beaten Köln at home since 1996, losing five and drawing six.
- Anthony Modeste's first goal for Köln came with his first ever penalty.
- Osako's goal in this same fixture a year ago was his first in the Bundesliga.
Quote of the match
Peter Stöger, Cologne coach: "Of course we're absolutely delighted. We defended with all we've got, but it certainly wasn't a game for the faint-hearted."
Translation: 'Away win'"