Jhon Cordoba paves the way for Cologne victory over Bayer Leverkusen
Jhon Cordoba was on target once again for Cologne as the Billy Goats ended a six-game winless run to move off the foot of the table with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over local neighbours Bayer Leverkusen, who ended the game with nine men.
Cologne 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Goals: 1-0 Cordoba (73'), 2-0 Bornauw (84')
Sent off: Dragovic (62'), Bailey (77')
Derbies between these two are always intense occasions, but perhaps even more so this time given Cologne's position at the bottom of the standings at kick-off. As such the opening period was dominated by full-blooded tackles in midfield, with the first real goalscoring chance not arriving until the 34th minute, when Dominik Drexler's pull-back from the left found unmarked 17-year-old Cologne debutant Jan Thielmann around the penalty spot, but he miscued his shot. Leverkusen struggled to make an impact in the final third and failed to test home goalkeeper Timo Horn before the half-time break.
That all changed within moments of the restart, however, when Nadiem Amiri drew a brilliant reflex save from the Billy Goats' custodian from point-blank range, before he was called into action again seconds later to keep out a powerful drive from Kai Havertz. They proved to be vital saves too, as momentum swung in Cologne's favour as the match wore on, first when Leverkusen defender Aleksandar Dragovic was sent off for a second bookable offence and then when Cordoba broke the deadlock with a drilled finish from just inside the box. Leon Bailey's frustration got the better of him in the closing stages when he was shown a straight red card and a miserable afternoon for the visitors was compounded late on when Sebastiaan Bornauw headed in Marcel Risse's free-kick to seal a win that lifts Cologne up to 17th.
- Thielmann is the first player born in the year 2002 to ever appear in the Bundesliga.
- Havertz became the youngest player in Bundesliga history to make 100 appearances at the age of 20 years, six months and three days. He has 26 goals in his 100 league games.
- Cordoba has scored two of his three Bundesliga goals this season as a substitute.
- The Colombian has hit all three goals in his last four appearances, making him the club's joint-top scorer alongside Simon Terodde.
- Cologne have scored seven of their 14 league goals from headers in 2019/20 - the highest such percentage of any Bundesliga team.
Cologne: Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach – Drexler, Skhiri, Hector (c), Jakobs – Modeste (Cordoba 55'), Thielmann (Risse 56', Schaub 87')
Unused subs: Krahl, Schmitz, Höger , Verstraete, Terodde, Mere
Out: Clemens (knee), Kessler (knock)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Leverkusen: Hradecky – L. Bender (c), Dragovic, S. Bender, Wendell – Baumgartlinger, Aranguiz – Havertz, Amiri (Bailey 54'), Diaby (Bellarabi 82') – Volland (Retsos 66')
Unused subs: Özcan, Paulinho, Demirbay, Alario, Sinkgraven, Stanilewicz
Out: Pohjanpalo (ankle), Tah (suspended), Weiser (ankle)
Coach: Peter Bosz
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