Serge Gnabry to the rescue as Bayern Munich survive Cologne fightback
Robert Lewandowski was on the scoresheet once again but Serge Gnabry was Bayern Munich's main man in the Matchday 2 curtain-closer against Cologne on Sunday, lashing in the winner in a 3-2 victory after the visitors had fought back to equalise.
Bayern Munich 3-2 Cologne
Goals: 1-0 Lewandowski (50'), 2-0 Gnabry (59'), 2-1 Modeste (60'), 2-2 Uth (62'), 3-2 Gnabry (71')
There was a moving tribute to the late Gerd Müller before kick-off, the Bayern and Germany legend having passed away earlier this week, but there was little of the goalmouth action on which he used to thrive in a battling first half. Leon Goretzka and Thomas Müller had presentable openings but failed to make clean connections with their efforts on goal, while Gnabry was denied by a last-gasp block from Jorge Mere. Cologne were well organised at the back and tried to pounce on the counter, but the while the first half ended with 13 attempts on goal - nine from Bayern - the fact only one of them was on target told the story of the first 45 minutes.
Julian Nagelsmann brought on Jamal Musiala for Leroy Sane at the interval and the teenager had an instant impact. Moments after fizzing a shot narrowly over the bar, the Germany international was the catalyst for the breakthrough, scampering past his marker on the left before pulling the ball back for Lewandowski to tap in from close range. Gnabry doubled Bayern's advantage shortly afterwards, leaving most onlookers expecting the defending champions to run away with things in the closing stages - but Cologne had other ideas and hit back straight away. Anthony Modeste reduced the deficit when he ghosted behind Niklas Süle to head home, and Mark Uth equalised two minutes later, prodding in from Modeste's right-wing cross. Affronted by the visitors' boldness, Bayern increased the pressure again and got their reward when Gnabry rifled in at the back post to give them their first Bundesliga win of the season.
- Lewandowski is unbeaten in 16 Bundesliga meetings with Cologne (W14, D1), scoring 15 goals. Bayern's No.9 scored for the 12 consecutive league game, equalling his own personal record.
- Gnabry now has 11 goals in eight league games against the Billy Goats.
- Bayern are on the longest unbeaten home run of any current Bundesliga club (W23, D5).
- Hector made 168th Bundesliga appearance here. The Cologne skipper has faced Bayern nine times, losing eight and drawing one.
- Uth has five goals in nine outings against Bayern - Marco Reus is the only player still active to have scored more against the Reds (eight in 19).
- Modeste has scored three goals in 10 games against Bayern, but is winless in all of them (D2, L8).
Watch: Nagelsmann: “We’ve still got a lot to do”
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Süle, Upamecano, Nianzou (Stanisic 46'), Davies (C. Richards 88') - Kimmich, Goretzka (Tolisso 66') - Sane (Musiala 46'), Müller, Gnabry (Choupo-Moting 76') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, O. Richards, Sarr, Tillman
Out: Coman (hamstring), Hernandez (knee), Pavard (ankle), Roca (ankle)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Cologne: T. Horn - Ehizibue, Mere, Czichos, Hector (c) - Skhiri - Thielmann, Ljubicic (Schaub 76'), Uth (Duda 66'), Kainz (Andersson 69') - Modeste (Lemperle 76')
Unused subs: Urbig, Schmitz, Özcan, Schindler, Ostrak
Out: J. Horn (hip), Hübers (knee), Schwäbe (hand)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
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