Cologne top-scorer Anthony Modeste and local boy Mark Uth both scored one and set up another as the Billy Goats saw off Arminia Bielefeld to stay within a point of the European places.
Cologne native Uth got his side off to the perfect start, opening the scoring with barely three minutes on the clock. The 30-year-old did brilliantly to control a Jonas Hector pass with his right foot, swivel, and slide the ball past Stefan Ortega with his left for 1-0. Home captain Hector later had to make way after a clash of heads with Alessandro Schöpf, while Modeste and Salih Özcan also needed treatment in a full-blooded first half. Patrick Wimmer tested Cologne keeper Marvin Schwäbe with a free-kick, and the lively Austrian then brought Bielefeld level, picking Luca Kilian's pocket and forcing Timo Hübers into conceding an own goal. The Billy Goats restored their lead before the break as Uth picked out Modeste in the middle, and the Frenchman put away his 17th goal of the season with a little help from Amos Pieper, who deflected the ball over Ortega. Dejan Ljubicic could have made it 3-1 to Cologne on the stroke of half-time, but he fizzed a shot just wide from Ellyes Skhiri's cut-back.
The game swung from end to end at the start to the second period, with Bielefeld looking the likelier of the two sides to find a way through. After a bit of pinball in the Cologne area, 20-year-old American George Bello fired over the bar, before Uth did the same at the other end. The visitors looked lively enough in their first game under interim coach Marco Kostmann, but lacked a cutting edge in the final third, only getting four of their 12 shots on target. Guilherme Ramos forced a fine stop from Schwäbe from another Wimmer free-kick, but the biggest chance fell to substitute Burak Ince, who was denied by Schwäbe after bursting through on goal. A few minutes later, Modeste was released on the counter and squared for Jan Thielmann to make it 3-1 and put the result beyond doubt. Cologne remain a point off the European places after Union Berlin's late show in Leipzig, while 17th-placed Bielefeld are three from outright safety.
- Only Robert Lewandowski (32), Patrik Schick (21) and Erling Haaland (18) have netted more frequently in the Bundesligia this season than Modeste (17). Nine of his goals have been headers.
- Uth's third-minute goal was the quickest of his Bundesliga career (43 in total). It was also the fastest strike for Cologne this season.
- The 30-year-old was on target for the first time since a 3-2 win at Wolfsburg in mid-December. He now has four for the campaign, one more than he managed with Schalke in 2020/21.
- Hector celebrated his 305th competitive appearance for Cologne with a sixth assist this term, the best single-season return of his career to date.
- Cologne haven’t lost a competitive game to Bielefeld since 2008. They last tasted defeat at home to Arminia in June 1999.
- Bielefeld haven’t won on the road since beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 on Matchday 18.
Cologne: Schwäbe - Schmitz (Ehizibue 74'), Kilian, Hübers, Hector (c) (J. Horn 29') - Skhiri, Özcan - Ljubicic (Thielmann 74'), Uth (Olesen 88'), Kainz (Schaub 74') - Modeste
Unused subs: T. Horn, Duda, Chabot, Lemperle
Out: Andersson (not included)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Bielefeld: Ortega - Ramos, Pieper, Nilsson, Bello - Prietl (c), Vasiliadis (Hack 77') - Wimmer, Schöpf (Castro 85'), Okugawa - Serra (Ince 77')
Unused subs: Kapino, De Medina, Krüger, Andrade, Cherny
Out: Brunner (concussion), Klos (fractured skull), Kunze (spine), Lasme (knock), Laursen (thigh)
Coach: Marco Kostmann
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