Moussa Diaby scored for the second game in a row as Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen came from behind to beat Cologne in the Rhine derby.
Cologne 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen
Goals: 1-0 Schmitz (30'), 1-1 Amiri (65'), 1-2 Diaby 70' (assist: Frimpong)
Mid-table Cologne started with the bit between their teeth as Sargis Adamyan drew a strong early save from Lukas Hradecky. There was nothing the Leverkusen goalkeeper could do about the opening goal, though, as Benno Schmitz controlled Adamyan's cross on his chest before finding the roof of the net with a thunderous 18-yard volley. Bayer were almost level late in the half, but defender Edmond Tapsoba's header from a Callum Hudson-Odoi free-kick dropped agonisingly wide.
Hradecky pulled off a sensational finger-tip save to prevent Jonas Hector finding the top corner soon after the restart. Alonso rang the changes in a bid to turn the tide, and substitute Nadiem Amiri duly delivered with a well-struck free-kick that deflected in off a Cologne player. Die Werkself completed the turnaround with 20 minutes remaining when Diaby led a blistering counter, before stroking in Jeremie Frimpong's selfless pass from close range. Cologne substitute Steffen Tigges headed against the woodwork as Bayer held on for a welcome win in their bid to pull away from the relegation zone.
- Leverkusen are unbeaten in two matches for only the second time this season, but first under Alonso.
- Bayer recorded their second away win - and third all told - of the Bundesliga campaign.
- Diaby and Frimpong have had a combined hand in 15 of Leverkusen's 23 Bundesliga goals in 2022/23.
- Schmitz scored his first Bundesliga goal on his 92nd appearance.
- Amiri scored his first Bundesliga goal since 21 August 2021.
- Die Werkself have lost just one of the last six meetings with the Billy Goats (W4, D1).
Watch: Xabi Alonso on his half-time team talk
Cologne: Schwäbe - Schmitz (Schindler 61'), Kilian, Soldo, Hector (c) - Skhiri, Martel - Huseinbasic, Maina (Tigges 74'), Kainz (Thielmann 74' - Adamyan (Duda 80')
Unused subs: Horn, Pedersen, Chabot, Olesen, Strauch
Out: Andersson (knee), Dietz (knee), Hübers (dead leg), Lemperle (ankle), Limnios (knee), Ljubicic (knee), Uth (fitness)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Tapsoba, Tah (Kossounou 59'), Hincapie - Frimpong (Fosu-Mensah 90'), Andrich, Palacios (Amiri 59'), Bakker - Diaby, Hlozek (Adli 59'), Hudson-Odoi (Demirbay 85')
Unused subs: Lomb, Lunev, Demirbay, Azhil, Bellarabi
Out: Aranguiz (calf), Azmoun (muscular), Paulinho (flu), Schick (adductor), Wirtz (fitness)
Coach: Xabi Alonso
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