WATCH: BAUMGART: "BOTH TEAMS HAD A GOOD MENTALITY"
Billy Goats bouncing
Kingsley Schindler's first-ever Bundesliga goal has settled a dramatic Rhine Derby in Cologne's favour. The Billy Goats are are up to seventh in the standings after seeing off a Leverkusen side who had their chances in this game.
Time running out
Cologne are just minutes away from a big win and what would be a first clean sheet away from home this season.
Speed check: The fastest player in the game after 90 minutes
Moussa Diaby 35.99km/h
Timo Hübers 34.41km/h
Handball shouts waved away
The Leverkusen crowd are shouting for a penalty, claiming that Modeste handled in the area following a Bayer free kick. Nothing doing, says the ref.
That scoring feeling !
Another big moment for the Iranian, who chest controls in front of goal but swipes at the ball, allowing Schwäbe to save.
Sardar Azmoun's big chance
Fosu-Mensah tees up Sardar Azmoun from the right but the forward swings more at the air than the ball and a glorious chance goes begging. Demirbay's subsequent shot at goal is blocked out by Schwäbe.
Straight into the action
It's worth noting that Dejan Ljubicic hit that assist with his second touch of the game while Schindler's goal-scoring volley was only his third touch. Super subs!
A very first Bundesliga goal for Kingsley Schindler comes in his 28th top-flight game.
There it is ! The breakthrough for Cologne and it's a super sub combo that's done it. Superb work from Ljubicic to keep the ball in play on the left while sending an inviting cross for Schindler to convert with a volley at the far post.
GOAL!0 : 1
Cologne changes ...
Visting coach Baumgart also opts for a double swap with Schindler and Ljubicic coming on.
Double swap B04
Paulinho has been lively, but missed his big chance in that one-v-one in the first half. He's been replaced by Azmoun. Charles Aranguiz is also on for the hosts.
The Cologne forward eyes up Andersson's sublime volleyed pass but heads narrowly wide. That's better from the visitors.
Adli gives chase to Alario's brilliant through pass but the Leverkusen man is upended by Skhiri as he bears down on goal. Yellow card for the Cologne defensive midfielder. The subsequent free kick is deflected away for a corner.
Adli has a go
Adli smashes a shot way off target as Die Werkself take the game to their opponents at the start of this second half.
Further Bayer change
A third substitution for Leverkusen with Seoane making another move at the break, bringing in Tapsoba in for Kossounou.
Back underway ....
The second half in ON ! Impossible to predict how this one will finish. Entertainment guaranteed, though.
All square at the break
It's been incident packed with chances at both ends and Leverkusen losing Frimpong and Wirtz to respective injuries. There's no separating the teams on the scoreboard at the break, though.
Time added on
We've had the physio on the pitch for lengthy spells on two occasions in this half, meaning there will be five minutes of added time.
Palacios sees yellow
Palacios goes into the book for upending Jonas Hector as we approach the break.
Both teams have had four efforts at goal, are sharing 50% of possession and have no goals thus far. Doesn't get more even than that.
Demirbay off target
Kerem Demirbay shapes up to whack a free kick at goal. Nice form from the No.10, but his curling free kick goes over the crossbar.
Big chance Leverkusen
A looser than loose back pass by Skhiri and Diaby pounces, moving to the left of Schwäbe but then firing harmlessly off target. That was a golden opportunity handed to the hosts.
An unwanted Wirtz first
That's the first time Florian Wirtz has had to be substituted in the first half in his Bundesliga career. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Speed check: The fastest player in the game after 30 minutes
Moussa Diaby 35.99km/h
Timo Hübers 34.41km/h
Game over for Wirtz
That's a real blow for Bayer and Wirtz, who is stretchered off and looking distraught. Armine Adli is on for the hosts.
Worrying times here for B04 fans with Wirtz down on the floor and looking in some pain following a tackle by Kilian on the edge of the area.
Kainz goes close
Cologne's No.11 arcs his body and sends a tasty curler towards the far post. Hradecky dives across to palm that one out. Top save from Bayer's captain.
Brilliant from Wirtz, who threads a neat pass through to Paulinho. It's one-v-one versus goalkeeper Schwäbe for the Brazilian, but the Cologne custodian wins, saving with his leg.
A lightning-quick Leverkusen counter has the home fans on their feet. Diaby races forward and looks to play a one-two with Wirtz, who just can't quite direct a lofted return pass in for the French attacker, who shows his frustration.
That's a sad end to proceedings for Frimpong who looked in some pain following that earlier challenge by Kainz. The Bayer man is replaced by Fosu-Mensah.
B04 on the attack
Frimpong is back on the field for now and Leverkusen immediately race forward with Alario and then Demirbay causing some panic in the Cologne area. No dice for the hosts, however, as Cologen clear their lines.
Frimpong limps off
Frimpong is struggling here following a challenge by Kainz. The Leverkusen man hobbles off for treatment.
Blue skies above
Both teams testing each other out here under blue skies in North Rhine-Westphalia. Cologne have been bossing possession in the early stages, with B04 set up to counter.
Baumgart ever watchful
Visiting coach Baumgart is already prowling the touchline in distinctive flat cap. The Billy Goats lost to Hoffenheim last time out but are yet to lose two straight league games this season.
Leverkusen get us underway.
Teams out !
The teams have taken to the pitch and we're all set to go at the BayArena where third-placed Bayer face Cologne, in eighth, in the Rhine Derby !
Modeste milestone in sight
Diaby looking for more
We're in for a treat with so much attacking excellence on display today. Of the many players to keep an eye out for, the superb Moussa Diaby is just one. Leverkusen’s No.19 has 12 goals and seven assists to his name in the Bundesliga so far in 2021/22. The 19-year-old has even netted seven in his last six Bundesliga outings.
Cologne to do it their way
B04 ready to adapt
Cologne team news
Steffen Baumgart welcomes captain Jonas Hector back to his starting XI while there is also a return for Timo Hübers in defence. Ondrej Duda comes into midfield while up front, Sebastian Andersson is in to form a strike partnership alongside Anthony Modeste for the first time this year.
Leverkusen team news
Bayer's 20-goal striker, Patrik Schick, continues his recovery from a calf injury, meaning Lucas Alario continues to lead the line for Die Werkself today. Elswhere, coach Seoane makes four changes to the side that lost to Atalanta during the week, with Odilon Kossounou, Piero Hincapie, Kerem Demirbay and Paulinho all starting.
Horn, Ehizibue, Horn, Chabot, Ljubicic, Schindler, Schaub, Lemperle, Thielmann
Cologne Starting XI
Schwäbe - Schmitz, Kilian, Hübers, Hector (c) - Skhiri - Duda, Özcan, Kainz - Modeste, Andersson
Grill, Lomb, Bakker, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven, Fosu-Mensah, Aranguiz, Adli, Azmoun
Leverkusen Starting XI
Hradecky (c) - Frimpong, Tah, Kossounou, Hincapie - Palacios, Demirbay - Diaby, Wirtz, Paulinho - Alario
Man in the middle
Our ref today is Sascha Stegeman from Niederkassel. The 37-year-old is taking charge of his 112th Bundesliga game.
Make some noise
A 22,000 plus crowd is expected at the impressive BayArena this afternoon, which represents 75% of the stadium's capacity. We're all set for a terrific atmosphere.
We love derby days
It's the 68th Rhine Derby meeting between these teams and today's encounter looks set to be a classic with both sides salivating over a European finish with just nine games of the season to go. What's your Derby prediction?
Here you can find all the information about Leverkusen against Köln on Matchday 26.