Cologne captain Jonas Hector scored twice in a much-needed 2-1 win over high-flying RB Leipzig to end the Billy Goats' nine-game winless run and inject fresh impetus into their battle against relegation.
Nordi Mukiele flashed a shot across the face of the Cologne goal, and just wide of the far post, with Leipzig's best chance of the first half ten minutes before the interval, with the hosts holding firm during the opening exchanges in which the guests were setting the attacking tone. Just before the half was up, Alexander Sörloth saw his header saved well by Timo Horn, who had been hitherto untested, despite seeing most of the action take place just in front of his own goal.
Within a minute of the restart, Cologne took the lead with their captain Hector meeting Marius Wolf's sweeping cross at the far post and heading it past Peter Gulacsi. It was clinical from Cologne, but Leipzig did not let them enjoy their advantage for too long with Amadou Haidara bringing them level on the hour mark with a stunning strike from the edge of the penalty area. Cologne were even more ruthless with their reaction, Hector restoring their advantage just a minute later with a low shot past Gulacsi. It was backs-to-the-wall stuff for the hosts, with Justin Kluivert hitting the woodwork late on as Leipzig tried - and ultimately failed - to find an equaliser.
- The Billy Goats ended a nine-game streak without a win, which was the longest current run in the Bundesliga, dating back to the Rhine derby away at Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-1) on 6 February.
- Hector's brace means he now has three goals in 16 appearances this season, leaving him needing just one more to equal his personal best tally of four from last term (in 29 games).
- Cologne have only kept three clean sheets in the Bundesliga this season, but one of them was in December's reverse fixture against Leipzig (0-0).
- The Leipzig scoring charts are also led by midfielders - Marcel Sabitzer (7), Emil Forsberg (6) and Christopher Nkunku (6) - while strikers Sörloth and Poulsen have five each.
Watch: Hector: "We've waited a long time for three points!
Cologne: T. Horn - Ehizibue (Schmitz 75'), Bornauw, Czichos, J.Horn - Skhiri, Hector (c) (Meyer 90'+2) - Wolf (Kainz 66'), Drexler (Özcan 90'+2), Rexhbecaj - Duda
Unused subs: Zieler, Katterbach, Mere, Arokadare, Dennis
Out: Andersson (knee), Jakobs (ankle), Thielmann (muscular)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel
Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) - Mukiele (Hwang 77'), Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg (Kluivert 66') - Haidara, Adams (Angelino 61'), Kampl, Nkunku - Sörloth, Forsberg (Olmo 61')
Unused subs: Martinez, Orban, Konate, Samardzic, Henrichs
Out: Laimer (match fitness), Poulsen (thigh), Sabitzer (calf), Szoboszlai (groin)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Watch: Bornauw: "I'm really happy"