Anthony Modeste came off the bench to snatch all three points for Cologne at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Separated by just a point and straddling both halves of the table, Cologne and Frankfurt came into this game knowing victory would keep them firmly in the fight for European qualification. The hosts pressed from the off in the style we’ve become accustomed to seeing under Steffen Baumgart, but the away side had the first chances of note. Jesper Lindstrom left Jonas Hector standing on the right and crossed for Filip Kostic, but he failed to hit the target. Captain Sebastian Rode later fired wide from a promising position. Momentum then swung back towards the Billy Goats as Dejan Ljubicic passed up a golden chance from close range but fired his effort straight at Kevin Trapp. The Frankfurt goalkeeper kept out Sebastian Andersson from a narrow angle before Salih Özcan failed to hit the target with a diving header at the far post. Andersson probably should’ve had Cologne ahead on the stroke of half-time when Mark Uth pulled back to him, but the Swede saw his shot blocked from close range.
The only Bundesliga clubs with living mascots continued to put on a lively show after the break as well, with the play racing back and forth. Gilt-edged chances remained at a premium, so Baumgart sent on talismanic striker Modeste on the hour mark. He quickly got into the action and teed up Ljubicic from 18 yards, but the Austria international failed to keep his shot down. Modeste tops the European scoring chart for headed goals this season with nine, so Cologne looked to serve him but couldn’t get through a big Eintracht defence. Instead, it took a low ball from a throw-in to open up the visitors’ backline, with the 33-year-old running clear from midway inside the half to coolly slot past Trapp with just six minutes left on the clock - his only shot of the game. The Billy Goats are now just two points off fourth place, having only survived relegation last season via the play-off.
- Modeste brought up his 15th goal of the season. Only Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland and Patrik Schick have more.
- The Frenchman has put Cologne 1-0 up seven times. His team has not been in the lead at the time of any of his 15 goals.
- Of the now 12 Bundesliga games in which Modeste has scored this season, Cologne have lost one. In contrast, they've been beaten in four of the 12 without a Modeste goal.
- The Billy Goats have scored 24 of their 35 goals this season in the second half. It’s the highest proportion in the division.
- Thirty-five goals is also one more than Cologne got in the whole of 2020/21.
- Cologne are 14 points better off than at the same stage last season. Frankfurt are 11 worse off.
Watch: Anthony Modeste explains purple patch
Cologne: T. Horn – Schmitz (Schaub 88’), Kilian, Hübers, Hector (c) - Skhiri – Ljubicic (Schindler 80’), Özcan, Kainz (Thielmann 80’) - Andersson (Modeste 61’), Uth (Duda 88’)
Unused subs: Urbig, Duda, Schaub, J. Horn, Chabot, Lemperle
Out: Schwäbe (not included)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Frankfurt: Trapp – Tuta (Lenz 90’), Hinteregger, N'Dicka – Chandler (da Costa 82’), Jakic, Rode (c) (Kamada 46’ (Lammers 90’)), Kostic - Sow, Lindstrom (Hauge 76’) - Borre
Unused subs: Grahl, Ilsanker, Hrustic, Knauff
Out: Ache (hamstring), Hasebe (ribs), Paciencia (thigh), Ramaj (knee)
Coach: Oliver Glasner
Watch: Steffen Baumgart hails 'special player' Anthony Modeste
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