Super-sub Kingsley Schindler earns Cologne derby spoils at Bayer Leverkusen


Kingsley Schindler scored just minutes after coming off the bench to earn Cologne a 1-0 victory away at Bayer Leverkusen in the Rhine derby.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Cologne
Goals: 0-1 Schindler 67’ (assist: Ljubicic)

Nine points and miles separated Leverkusen and Cologne at kick-off with both teams eying derby spoils and a big step towards European qualification. The first big chances of the game came midway through the opening 45 minutes when Florian Wirtz first played in Paulinho, but he was denied by the outstretched leg of Marvin Schwäbe. The visitors quickly went up the other end and Florian Kainz forced Lukas Hradecky into a full-stretch dive to turn a curling effort away. However, Die Werkself suffered a major setback when Wirtz had to be stretchered off in considerable discomfort after twisting awkwardly. It was a double blow, having already lost Jeremie Frimpong to injury earlier in the half. Bayer still had the always menacing Moussa Diaby, though, and he almost put the hosts ahead when he intercepted an Ellyes Skhiri back pass and went around Schwäbe, but couldn’t hit the target from a tight angle.

Leverkusen were forced into a third change at half-time with Odilon Kossounou remaining in the changing room, but it was two of Steffen Baumgart’s substitutes that made an immediate impact when Dejan Ljubicic crossed from the byline and Kingsley Schindler volleyed home at the far post just three minutes after their introduction. Sardar Azmoun came close to bringing Bayer level when latching onto Lucas Alario’s knockdown, but the January signing failed to get a telling shot away and was denied by Schwäbe. It leaves Leverkusen in third place but only a point clear of Freiburg and Hoffenheim below them. The Billy Goats, meanwhile, are up to seventh and knocking on the door of European qualification.

Match stats

  • Cologne ended a four-match winless run against Leverkusen since a 2-0 home victory in December 2019. It was their first win at the BayArena since November 2015.
  • Schindler got his first Bundesliga goal in his 28th game. His last goal came for Holstein Kiel against Jahn Regensburg in Bundesliga 2 on 3 February 2019.
  • His goal was his just third touch of the ball. Ljubicic’s assist came with only his second spell of possession.
  • Cologne have now scored nine goals through substitutes this season – a league high and the most for the club since 2005/06.
  • This was the earliest Leverkusen had made two substitutions in a Bundesliga game since October 2020 away at Stuttgart.
  • Cologne are still yet to lose back-to-back Bundesliga games under Baumgart.

Watch: Baumgart: "Both teams had a good mentality"


Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Frimpong (Fosu-Mensah 13’), Tah, Kossounou (Tapsoba 46’), Hincapie - Palacios (Aranguiz 64’), Demirbay - Diaby, Wirtz (Adli 28’), Paulinho (Azmoun 64’) - Alario
Unused subs: Grill, Lomb, Bakker, Sinkgraven
Out: Bellarabi (hamstring), Lunev (ankle), Schick (calf)
Coach: Gerardo Seoane  

Cologne: Schwäbe - Schmitz, Kilian, Hübers, Hector (c) - Skhiri (Schindler 64’) - Özcan, Duda (Ljubicic 64’), Kainz (Lemperle 88’) - Modeste, Andersson (Thielmann 76’)
Unused subs: Horn, Ehizibue, Horn, Chabot, Schaub
Out: Uth (not included)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart