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DORTMUND DO IT AGAIN
It wasn't always pretty from Borussia Dortmund - especially in the first half - but they got the job done as Cologne faded in the closing stages. Lucien Favre's double substitution on 62 minutes was key - Julian Brandt added bite to the BVB attack, and Achraf Hakimi got the all-important second goal as they once again came from behind to prevail. Jadon Sancho and Paco Alcacer even got the chance to polish their stats late on, but in truth a 3-1 scoreline flatters the league leaders after a spirited showing from the hosts.
DORTMUND UNDER PRESSURE
The visitors get the second half underway. They came from a goal down to win 5-1 last weekend - can they turn this one around as well?
SANCHO FOR PACO
This time the Dortmund counter is perfectly executed. A gorgeous ball up the right flank sets Sancho away, and he has options - go it alone, pass to Alcacer or pass to Reus. He chooses the second and that's 3-1 for BVB. Game over!
Last season, Dortmund set an all-time Bundesliga record with 18 goals scored by substitutes. They're already up to two in two games this term, with Brandt's strike against Augsburg and Hakimi's header tonight. And now Paco Alcacer has made it 3-1!
FIVE MINUTES OF TIME ADDED ON
Any more twists in the tale?
COUNTER WASTED FOR DORTMUND
The visitors could get their third as they break on the counter in numbers, but a poor touch from Brandt allows the Cologne defence to thump the ball clear.
HAKIMI PUTS DORTMUND AHEAD!
The substitute is the hero! It's a brilliant ball to the back post from Lukasz Piszczek and the Dortmund right-back absolutely soars above Ehizibue and Bornauw to nod in his first Bundesliga goal since January. Heartbreaking stuff for Cologne.
Jacob Bruun Larsen
DREXLER GRITS HIS TEETH
The goalscorer is back on the pitch. He appears to be slightly injured but is going to tough it out until the final whistle, rather than leave his team with 10 men.
FINAL CHANGE FOR COLOGNE
... and it speaks volumes. Off comes striker Anthony Modeste and on comes defensive midfielder Marco Höger. Achim Beierlorzer is playing for the draw, but he may have a problem here - Drexler is off the pitch receiving treatment.
DORTMUND CHASING A WINNER
The visitors are camped out in the Cologne half at the moment, but they're finding it hard to break down the hosts' well-drilled defence. Ten minutes of normal time remaining.
15TH BUNDESLIGA GOAL FOR SANCHO
That was another important strike for the Dortmund winger, who made it 2-1 against Augsburg last week. Three of his last four Bundesliga goals have now come away from home.
Yes they can! Dortmund take a short corner, Hazard squares for Sancho, and the Englishman smashes a brilliant left-footed drive low into the bottom corner. Sancho now has two goals in two outings - Fantasy players take note - and BVB are right back in this game!
DORTMUND UPPING THE TEMPO
Reus bursts into the Cologne area but can't get a shot away after fine cover from Bornauw... seconds later, Brandt rifles an effort over from distance. Those changes have certainly breathed a bit of life into the visitors - but can they get a goal?
HAKIMI ALSO ON
Favre made a double change a few minutes ago, with Achraf Hakimi replacing a somewhat out-of-sorts Nico Schulz. The Morocco right-back is into the second season of his two-year loan from Real Madrid.
ALMOST AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT FROM BRANDT
Julian Brandt has just come on for Julian Weigl, and with more or less his first touch the Germany international teases a ball through to Marco Reus. Horn gets off his line well to smother the BVB captain's effort and the ball eventually goes out for a corner.
DISALLOWED GOAL FOR COLOGNE
A let-off for Dortmund... Cologne have the ball in the back of the net again as Bürki spills the ball at Modeste's feet and the Frenchman pokes home, but it's correctly ruled out for offside.
Paco Alcacer has been very quiet tonight, but the Spaniard gives us a timely reminder of his quality as he neatly controls a ball from Hazard and gets a shot away. Solid hands from Timo Horn.
TERODDE ON FOR CORDOBA
Simon Terodde - last season's top scorer in Bundesliga 2 with 29 goals - replaces Jhon Cordoba. The 31-year-old opened his account for this term against Wolfsburg last week.
HUMMELS GOES IT ALONE
Mats Hummels picks up a throw-in from Hazard, and when a little space opens up in front of him he has a go from distance. It's very much a centre-back's effort and sails harmlessly wide of the post.
MODESTE OVER THE BAR!
A fine corner delivery from Verstraete and Modeste gets up well, but his headed attempt takes a slight deflection and sails over the bar. Cologne have another corner, but this time Dortmund clear easily.
MORE SHOTS FOR COLOGNE SO FAR
In the first half, Cologne had nine shots on goal compared to just five for Dortmund. BVB are bossing possession so far this half. I haven't mentioned Axel Witsel yet, but he's been omnipresent in midfield.
COLOGNE ON TOP
The hosts go in at half-time with a thoroughly deserved lead. Modeste and Cordoba have looked sharp in attack, and Dortmund's defending has left much to be desired, particularly for Drexler's goal. The visitors have shown flashes of potential through Hazard in particular, but they simply aren't looking comfortable at the back - a fact that was rather neatly summed up by Bürki's kamikaze dribble. A big team talk coming up for Lucien Favre, who won't be best impressed.
The Dortmund keeper almost ends up with a considerable amount of egg on his face after trying to dribble his way out from the back and being tackled by Cordoba. Luckily for BVB, the ball goes straight to one of their players... that was a very close shave!
DORTMUND BACK ON THE CHARGE
The visitors have done precious little for 10 minutes or so, but finally create a bit of danger in the Cologne penalty area as Piszczek slides a ball across - Ehizibue does well to get it behind for a corner.
COLOGNE USING THEIR HEADS
Cologne scored no fewer than 26 headed goals in Bundesliga 2 last season, nine more than any other team in Germany's first or second divisions. And Drexler has nodded them in front tonight with another ' Kopfballtor'!
DORTMUND ALL AT SEA
The Black-and-Yellows have been totally MIA since Cologne opened the scoring. If the hosts want to get a result here this would be a perfect time to double their lead!
DREXLER OPENS HIS BUNDESLIGA ACCOUNT
That's a first Bundesliga goal for Drexler, who came through the Bayer Leverkusen youth ranks but never played for the club in the top flight. He notched nine for the Billy Goats in Bundesliga 2 last term.
Well this wasn't in the script! New boy Ellyes Skhiri gets ahead of Piszczek as a corner is whipped in from the right, and Dominick Drexler sneaks in at the back post to nod Cologne in front! Nico Schulz and several other BVB defenders completely switched off there.
DOUBLE CHANCE FOR COLOGNE!
Modeste gets a shot away inside the Dortmund area that is blocked by Piszczek, and the rebound falls to Cordoba who fires wide of the target. Credit to the promoted side, they're not just sitting back and soaking up BVB pressure...
The Dortmund captain sends a dipping effort over the wall, but Timo Horn pushes it behind for a corner. Sancho then attempts a training-ground number but it doesn't come off and Cologne clear their lines.
The Belgian is looking lively out on the left for Dortmund. He's just won another free-kick in a dangerous position after being hauled down by Bornauw. In fact, he's just receiving a bit of treatment - but now he's back on his feet. Reus and Alcacer standing over the free-kick...
A neat ball over the top sets Anthony Modeste away up the Cologne right flank, and he whips in a ball that is just beyond the reach of Jhon Cordoba! Moments later, Hector drags a shot just wide - they've certainly livened up the atmosphere here at the RheinEnergieStadion.
HUMMELS OVER THE BAR
Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels meets a Sancho corner in from the left, but his headed effort sails over the bar. His last Bundesliga goal for BVB came in December 2015, in a 4-1 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
SANCHO COMING TO LIFE
Dortmund are starting to feed Jadon Sancho down the right flank, which could be bad news for Cologne. The England starlet cuts inside and tries to shoot but it's blocked by Verstraete.
SIZING EACH OTHER UP
No real chances as yet, but Dortmund are starting to get their feet on the ball. Cologne look well-organised in their 4-1-3-2 with Birger Verstraete just in front of the defence.
COLOGNE ON THE CHARGE
A first foray into Dortmund territory for the hosts as Drexler wins a throw-in down the left, and Akanji then concedes a corner under pressure from Cordoba. It comes to nothing, but Cologne have started brightly. Perhaps they're thinking of Augsburg's early goal against Dortmund last week?
Cologne are back at home in the Bundesliga - can they cause a huge upset against title contenders Dortmund tonight?
PLAYERS ON THE PITCH
The RheinEnergieStadion is rocking as 50,000-odd Cologne fans belt out their anthem, 'Mir stonn zo Dir', and the players make their way out onto the pitch. Captains Reus and Hector are shaking hands, kick-off is imminent!
GOALS OR NO GOALS?
When these two sides last played in the Bundesliga together, both matchs saw an impressive five goals. Andre Schürrle netted a late winner for BVB on their last visit to Cologne in February 2018 to give a 3-2 victory, which came after a 5-0 thrashing in Dortmund in September 2017. However, this fixture has ended 0-0 10 times, which is more than any other Bundesliga match-up. Which side will we see tonight?
NO GIFTS FROM BVB
Dortmund, however, will be out to spoil any Cologne festivities. They currently sit top after one game and can lay down a marker with another victory this evening. Their record away at the Billy Goats is traditionally patchy, with just 12 wins from 43 visits, but they are unbeaten in five against Cologne and have scored in all eight of their last league trips since a goalless draw in February 2008.
Cologne may have lost 2-1 at Wolfsburg last week, but there’s a real sense of excitement around the city and the RheinEnergieStadion as the Billy Goats play their first Bundesliga game at home since 5 May 2018, when they lost 3-1 to champions Bayern. It has been 476 long days for some of German football’s most faithful fans, and they’re welcomed back by the early pace-setters in the league.
One high profile debutant in today’s game is not in fact out on the pitch but alongside it. After a decade in the role of mascot, Hennes VIII announced his retirement this summer (as a goat, it isn’t believed he typed it himself) and will live out the rest of his in the Cologne zoo. He has been replaced by, you guessed it, Hennes IX, and he makes his first appearance at a home game tonight.
For Dortmund, it’s just one change from the side that beat Augsburg 5-1. Goalkeeper Roman Bürki is fit once more so returns in place of Swiss compatriot Marwin Hitz.
THREE COLOGNE CHANGES
Achim Beierlorzer brings in three new faces for his home debut as Cologne boss. Jhon Cordoba returns from suspension up front, Sebastiaan Bornauw makes his Bundesliga debut in defence and Ellyes Skhiri makes his first start in the top flight in midfield. Simon Terodde, Jorge Mere and Marco Höger all drop to the bench.
Bürki – Piszczek, Akanji, Hummels, Schulz – Weigl, Witsel – Sancho, Reus (c), Hazard – Alcacer
Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Hector (c) – Schindler, Skhiri, Verstraete, Drexler – Cordoba, Modeste
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Köln vs. Dortmund from matchday 2 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season at the RheinEnergieSTADION. Check back here for full information on the match.