bundesliga

Cologne play out historic Innovation Game against AC Milan

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Cologne and Anthony Modeste welcomed reigning Serie A champions AC Milan - minus the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic - to the RheinEnergieStadion on Saturday as a wide range of technology was debuted in an historic first Innovation Game.

In addition to the illustrious visitors, the match was a special occasion for another reason: dubbed an 'innovation game', it offered spectators a brand-new matchday experience, with players equipped with bodycams and microphones, while automated highlights and exciting data feeds were also on display. It gave insight into the workings of Steffen Baumgart and his side, while bringing fans closer to the action than ever before. It began with microphones catching the pre-match team talk from the Billy Goats, before Timo Hübers' bodycam put viewers in the thick of the action as he jostled with Milan defenders from a corner. The Italian side ultimately got the better of the first half, with Olivier Giroud scoring twice to make it 2-0 at the break.

Former Eintracht Frankfurt attacker Ante Rebic was a particular menace in the first 45, but Cologne kicked into gear after the interval. They could have halved the deficit on 54 minutes but Tim Lemperle lost his balance when one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Mark Uth also went close with 20 minutes to play, before Florian Dietz finally pulled one back. He rattled home from close range with four minutes to play, giving the hosts some late belief of a fightback. They weren't able to level, however, as Milan took the victory in a fascinating game both on and off the pitch.

Watch: Florian Dietz's goal against Milan seen from teammates' bodycam

Match stats

  • This was the first meeting of any kind - competitive or friendly - between these teams.
  • Cologne have won five of their 17 encounters (three draws, nine defeats) against Italian opposition in competitive football, but the most recent of these was in the last 16 of the UEFA cup against Roma in 1982.
  • Modeste was the Billy Goats' top scorer last season with 20 league goals; Giroud and Rafael Leao were Milan's sharpest shooters in the league with 11 each. Ibrahimovic scored eight.
  • Milan won Italy's Serie A in 2021/22, ending a 10-year wait for the league title.
  • Milan left-back Theo Hernandez is the younger brother of Bayern Munich defender Lucas Hernandez.
  • Rebic spent four years at Frankfurt between 2016 and 2020, scoring 22 times in 77 competitive outings. Summer signing Divock Origi also has a Bundesliga past, having netted six times in 31 Bundesliga games while on loan at Wolfsburg from Liverpool in 2017/18.

Teams

Cologne: Schwäbe - Schmitz (Ehizibue 46'), Hübers (Kilian 61'), Chabot (Martel 72'), Pedersen (Maina 72') - Skhiri (Arrey-Mbi 72'), Ljubicic (Schindler 28') (Olesen 72'), Kainz (Thielmann 72'), Adamyan (Lemperle 46') - Modeste (Dietz 78'), Uth (Hector 72')
Unused subs: Horn, Schwirten
Out: -
Coach: Steffen Baumgart

Milan: Tatarusanu (Mirante 46') - Florenzi (Roback 62'), Kalulu (Coubis 62'), Gabbia, Ballo-Toure (Robotti 82') - Bakayoko (Brescianini 72'), Pobega (Bartesaghi 82') - Messias (Traore 62'), Diaz (Adli 46'), Rebic (Maldini 61') - Giroud (Michelis 62')
Unused subs: Gala, Stanga
Out: Ibrahimovic (knee)
Coach: Stefano Pioli

Watch: Steffen Baumgart gives pitch-side instructions to Mark Uth

Live blog - As it happened!

1 - 2

(0 - 2)

Köln
FINAL
Milan
Friendly
Pre-season
Pre-season RheinEnergieStadion
Full-time
90'
+ 1

CLOSE!

Maina turns and shoots from inside the box, but his shot lacks the power to trouble the goalkeeper. That's probably that...
86'

THE SUBS COMBINE!

Arrey-Mbi flicks Maina's corner against the bar. Hector arrows the loose ball goalwards, with Dietz directing it past the goalkeeper with his head. Can Cologne go on and find a late leveller?
86'

Florian Dietz

GOAL!

1 : 2
Florian Dietz
77'

MODESTE MAKES WAY

Modeste's ploughed a lonely furrow since those two early openings. Still, the Frenchman showed why he'll likely be among the goals once again in 2022/23.
77'

Substitution

sub
Florian Dietz
Florian Dietz
sub
Anthony Modeste
Anthony Modeste
75'

Substitution

sub
Marco Brescianini
sub
Tiemoue Bakayoko
72'

SIX CHANGES

Summer signing Linton Maina is among the new faces on the pitch for Cologne.
72'

Substitution

sub
Mathias Olesen
Mathias Olesen
sub
Florian Kainz
Florian Kainz
72'

Substitution

sub
Linton Maina
Linton Maina
sub
Mark Uth
Mark Uth
72'

Substitution

sub
Eric Martel
Eric Martel
sub
Kingsley Schindler
Kingsley Schindler
72'

Substitution

sub
Jan Thielmann
Jan Thielmann
sub
Ellyes Skhiri
Ellyes Skhiri
72'

Substitution

sub
Bright Arrey-Mbi
Bright Arrey-Mbi
sub
Jeff Chabot
Jeff Chabot
72'

Substitution

sub
Jonas Hector
Jonas Hector
sub
Kristian Pedersen
Kristian Pedersen
71'

CHANCE!

A ball into the box falls kindly for Uth. He hits it on the turn, but the shot's too close to Tatarusanu.
65'

LET-OFF!

Robak forces a mistake from Cologne goalkeeper Schwäbe, who gifts possession to Maldini. The son of the great Paulo can't steer the ball on target, though.
60'

Substitution

sub
Luca Kilian
Luca Kilian
sub
Timo Hübers
Timo Hübers
58'

MILAN CHASE A THIRD GOAL

Danger for Cologne as Florenzi whips a cross into the box. Rebic is on the end of it, but Ehizibue does just enough to put him off.
49'

PENALTY APPEAL

Lemperle goes to ground in the Milan box under a challenge from Katutu, but the referee is unmoved.
46'

Substitution

sub
Kingsley Ehizibue
Kingsley Ehizibue
sub
Benno Schmitz
Benno Schmitz
46'

Substitution

sub
Tim Lemperle
Tim Lemperle
sub
Sargis Adamyan
Sargis Adamyan
46'

HERE WE GO AGAIN!

Can the Billy Goats mount a comeback in front of their own fans?
45'
+ 1

SOLID WORKOUT

Cologne started well, but were twice undone on the counter. Expect Baumgart to make changes, with captain Jonas Hector among the substitutes...
Half-time
39'

FLYING SAVE!

Here come Milan again. Rebic is involved and picks out Giroud, whose shot from a tight angle is beaten away by Schwäbe at full stretch.
36'

GIROUD DOUBLE

Milan score a second goal with only their second chance. It's Giroud again, this time collecting a pass from Brahim Diaz before letting fly from range. A deflection off Chabot leaves Schwäbe with no chance.
36'

Olivier Giroud

GOAL!

0 : 2
Olivier Giroud
27'

LJUBICIC INJURED

The Cologne midfielder has picked up a knock, and heads straight off. Schindler - more of a winger - is on.
27'

Substitution

sub
Kingsley Schindler
Kingsley Schindler
sub
Dejan Ljubicic
Dejan Ljubicic
24'

KAINZ FROM DOWNTOWN

Florian Kainz takes aim from range, but it's easy for the Milan goalkeeper. Encouraging response from the Billy Goats!
16'

MILAN STRIKE FIRST

So harsh on Cologne after such a bright start. The Italians counter with Junior Messias, who finds ex-Eintracht Frankfurt man Ante Rebic. His superb back-heel sets up Olivier Giroud, who clips the ball over Marwin Schwäbe from close range.
16'

Olivier Giroud

GOAL!

0 : 1
Olivier Giroud
15'

SAME DRILL

Another Cologne corner has AC Milan at sixes and sevens. This time Timo Hübers is up for Uth's cross, sending a fierce header over the crossbar.
14'

MODESTE THREAT

Cologne have started really brightly. The Billy Goats win another corner, which Tatarusanu manages to clear ahead of Uth. Modeste takes on the loose ball, but his shot is blocked by Gabbia. Gabbia
4'

CHANCE!

Modeste - Cologne's 20-goal top scorer last season - gets his head on a cross, but doesn't trouble Tatarusanu.

KICK-OFF!

Under way in sun-drenched Cologne...

COLOGNE STARTING XI

Schwäbe - Schmitz, Hübers, Chabot, Pedersen - Skhiri, Ljubicic, Kainz, Adamyan - Modeste, Uth

MILAN SUBS

Mirante, Maldini, Roback, Brescianini, Gala, Adli, Traore, Kalulu, Michelis, Coubis, Stanga, Bartesaghi, Robotti

MILAN STARTING XI

Tatarusanu - Florenzi, Kalulu, Gabbia, Ballo-Toure - Bakayoko, Pobega - Messias, Diaz, Rebic - Giroud
camera-photo

COLOGNE'S MILAN TEST

Technology momentarily aside, tonight's game represents a fantastic test for a Cologne team who are building towards another big season in the Bundesliga and Europe. In pre-season thus far, last season's seventh-place finishers have enjoyed friendly wins against Mondorf (12-1), Austria Lustenau (4-0) and most recently drew with Grasshoppers (1-1). There is plenty of intrigue now to see how Steffen Baumgart's side will do against the Italian champions.

NEW FAN EXPERIENCE

For example, fans will be able to experience the game from new perspectives - through the eyes of a player - with a number of the Cologne contingent tonight using special bodycams. Automated highlights and exciting data feeds are also on offer. There will also be an improved stadium experience, with a strategic crowd management system which will inform fans which kiosk or toilet has the shortest queue.

TECH-TASTIC OCCASION

So, apart from getting to see the sublime Billy-Goats as they take on Italian champions AC Milan, what else is so special about this evening's encounter at the RheinEnergieStadion? We have numerous new technologies to talk about as part of the hosts' partnership with Deutsche Telekom.

WELCOME ALONG !

A very warm welcome to what is a very special occasion with Cologne set to face AC Milan in a friendly encounter that offers plenty to get excited about !