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THANKS FOR YOUR COMPANY!
What a day we've had. We've seen the champions beaten at home and none of the top five win. After all that, Bayern, despite defeat to Hoffenheim, sit top of the table, but for how long? Both Wolfsburg, who play Union Berlin, and Borissia Mönchengladbach, who entertain Augsburg, can go ahead of the Bavarians on Sunday, with only two points separating the top eight sides. Sunday's action promises real excitement, so do join us then. Bye for now!
90' + 5'
THE SPOILS ARE SHARED!
What drama we've had here at the Veltins Arena! Schalke were moments away from going top of the table for the first time in almost ten years, but Hector's late header means they drop back down to fourth, level on 14 points with Bayern, Freiburg, Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen. Cologne, meanwhile, remain in 17th place but have stopped the rot after three straight defeats.
90' + 3'
90' + 2'
And Schalke are made to pay for their profligacy! Instead of 2-0, it's now 1-1 as Jonas Hector steals in at the front post to glance Marcel Risse's corner home! It's harsh on Nübel, who deserves a clean sheet and saved from Modeste moments before, but Cologne have shown great resilience here.
90' + 1'
GOAL!1 : 1
BURGSTALLER HITS THE POST!
Schalke just cannot find this second goal! They really should have made the points safe here, but Burgstaller hits the base of the post from 12 yards after Harit's through ball. Will they rue that miss?
SERDAR ALMOST SETTTLES IT!
The home side want to wrap this game up now, and the more Cologne chase an equaliser, the more space they leave in behind. Kenny steams clear down the right and lays it across the box, where Serdar collects and shoots. Unfortunately for him, his effort is the wrong side of the crossbar.
CHANCE FOR A SECOND!
Schalke scent blood here. Burgstaller wins the ball in the Mainz half and the home side are on the attack, with Harit suddenly clear on goal. He prepares to shoot but Horn is on him in a flash to divert the ball clear for a corner.
SERDAR BREAKS THE DEADLOCK!
Schalke find the breakthrough! It comes after an almighty scramble in the box and several blcked shots, after which the ball is recycled wide to Oczipka. The left-back crosses deep to the back post where Salif Sane meets the ball, and his header is nodded home at the opposite post by Serdar. That's the midfielder's third goal in four games, and Schalke, as it stands, are top of the league!
GOAL!1 : 0
The Schalke custodian, the club's captain at the age of 23 we should remember, makes another excellent save from a Terodde header. The flag was up for offside, so it woudn't have counted anyway.
NÜBEL TO THE RESCUE!
For the second time in this game, Nübel makes a stunning point-blank save! This time it's Terodde that connects with a corner perfectly to send the ball careering towards the back of the net, only for Nübel stick out a strong left hand. Cologne have a second chance from the rebound but the ball falls kindly for a Schalke man to clear.
BURGSTALLER SHOOTS WIDE!
This is more like it from Schalke! They work an opening on the right-hand side of the penalty area between Kenny, Harit and Caligiuri, the latter crossing for Burgstaller, who can only stab it wide. It was a tough chance, but that was some incisive attacking play from the home side.
The introduction of the American has already freshened up the home side's attack. McKennie exchanges passes with Harit and finds Caligiuri, whose shot is blocked. Moments later Bastian Ozcipka takes aim with his right foot and Horn makes a comfortable save.
USA international Weston Mckennie is on for the hosts to provide some extra thrust from midfield.
45' + 2'
STALEMATE IN GELSENKIRCHEN
There's been little to separate the sides on the pitch, and nothing in the scoreline either. Join us after the restart!
45' + 1'
SERDAR OVER THE BAR
His second shot at goal, on his unfavoured left foot, is high, wide and not so handsome.
Amine Harit has been key to the Royal Blues' good start to the season, scoring four and assisting two in his last three appearances. But he's not managed to knit the attack together yet, his latest attempt to find Guido Burgstaller rollng harmlessly through to the 'keeper.
OFF THE POST!
...and as I say that, Achim Beierlorzer's side are a whisker from going behind! A free-kick comes in that glances off the head of Terodde and strikes the far post before bouncing to safety.
On the evidence of this game, you might be surprised to learn that the Billy Goats have lost three on the spin by an aggregate score of 9-0. They've been dogged, tenacious and compact so far...
What a chance for Cologne's Kingsley Ehizibue! It's a fantastic move down the left and a delicious cross to the back post that Schindler meets like a train, but his header is straight at Alexander Nübel in the Schalke goal, who managers to divert it clear. The 'keeper knew very little about that.
SERDAR TESTS HORN
Suat Serdar has started this season well, and he's been lively today as well. He has the first meaningful shot on target from the edge of the box, but it's a comfortable save for Timo Horn in the Cologne goal.
KENNY THE EVER-PRESENT
This game is something of a slow burner early on, so here's a fact about Jonjoe Kenny. The right-back on loan at Schalke from Everton is already a firm favourite in Gelsenkirchen, having played every minute in league and cup so far this season.
AWAY WE GO!
So Cologne are bidding to start October in the right way after scoring none and conceding nine in the league in September. Schalke, meanwhile, have the summit of the Bundesliga in their sights.
Results this afternoon have been very interesting indeed. Leverkusen and Leipzig took points off each other, as did Freiburg and Borussia Dortmund, but the biggest shock came in Bavaria, where Hoffenheim stunned Bayern Munich to win 2-1 at the Allianz Arena. All of which means that Schalke, currently in 4th, can leapfrog four teams and go two points clear at the top with a victory today. What an opportunity for David Wagner's charges.
TERODDE GETS THE NOD
For Cologne, Simon Terodde leads the line as the lone striker, with Anthony Modeste and Jhon Cordoba among the substitutes. The BIlly Goats have lost three in a row, the last two of which ended 4-0. They're up against it today, make no mistake.
MATONDO DROPS TO THE BENCH
Rabbi Matondo, signed in the summer friom Manchester City, scored his first Bundesliga goal in the win at Leipzig last weekend, but he makes way today for Daniel Caligiuri. Schalke are looking for a fifth league win in a row.
Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw, Katterbach, Czichos, Hector (c) – Schindler, Skhiri, Schaub, Kainz – Terodde
Nübel (c) – Kenny, Stambouli, Sane, Oczipka – Serdar, Mascarell – Caligiuri, Uth, Harit – Burgstaller
TEAMS ARE IN!
Here come the starting XIs today...
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Schalke vs. Köln from matchday 7 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season at the VELTINS-Arena. Check back here for full information on the match.