Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorst made it seven goals in his last seven Bundesliga outings in an entertaining encounter at the RheinEnergieStadion, with a spirited Cologne taking a deserved point against the unbeaten Wolves.
There were chances at both ends in a lively start to the game, with Wolfsburg's Josip Brekalo warming Timo Horn's gloves with a powerful left-footed effort, and Cologne's Elvis Rexhbecaj testing Koen Casteels with a left-footer of his own. Weghorst had a clear opening after a mistake from defender Jannes Horn, but Timo Horn came to his namesake's rescue with a solid save to deny the visitors' top scorer. Cologne then forged ahead through 18-year-old Jan Thielmann, who picked up Salih Özcan's cut-back and slid into the far corner for his first Bundesliga goal. Maximilian Philipp almost brought Wolfsburg level with a goal of the season contender, but his delightful bicycle kick was turned aside by Horn. Instead it was another Maximilian who made it 1-1; Arnold curling a beauty of a free-kick into the top corner just before the half-hour. But Cologne, clearly boosted by last week's surprise win at Borussia Dortmund, were back in front by half-time – Rexhbecaj beating the offside trap and pulling across the six-yard box for Ondrej Duda to slam home on his 26th birthday.
Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner clearly found the words to get his team fired up at the beginning of the second half. Just two minutes after the restart, Renato Steffen whipped in an inch-perfect cross from the right, and Weghorst powered a close-range header past Horn for 2-2. Switzerland midfielder Steffen could have put the Wolves ahead a few minutes later, but dragged his effort just wide of the post. Jerome Roussillon then tried his luck from distance, but Weghorst couldn’t quite steer the Frenchman's wayward effort on target. The visitors were dominating but Cologne remained a threat on the counter, and Xaver Schlager had to scramble clear after Sebastiaan Bornauw got to a corner ahead of Casteels. Maxence Lacroix was almost the unlikely hero for Wolfsburg, but the centre-back fired into the side netting after a marauding run down the right. Ultimately, both sides had to be satisfied with a point as it ended in a stalemate, with Cologne staying clear of the relegation zone and Wolfsburg still inside the top five on Saturday evening.
- Germany youth international Thielmann scored his first Bundesliga goal in his 20th top-flight outing.
- Arnold has now scored five direct free-kicks in the Bundesliga, having put away two in both the 2017/18 and 2019/20 campaigns.
- Wolfsburg are the first team this season to score more than one direct free-kick, after Brekalo notched one in the 1-1 draw at Freiburg on Matchday 2.
- Weghorst has scored in four consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time. The Dutchman is up to seven for the season, and they have all come in his last seven outings.
- The average age of Cologne's line-up today was 23 years and 95 days. They've only fielded a younger line-up on three occasions in the Bundesliga, most recently in February 1967.
- The Billy Goats are without a home win in 11 Bundesliga matches, and have only won six of their 29 top-flight meetings with Wolfsburg.
Watch: Weghorst: "Nice to score, frustrating not to win again"
Cologne: T. Horn (c) - Cestic, Bornauw, J. Horn - Skhiri - Wolf (Schmitz 88'), Özcan (Drexler 39'), Rexhbecaj (Andersson 88'), Jakobs - Thielmann, Duda
Unused subs: Zieler, Katterbach, Limnios, Ehizibue, Modeste, Sörensen
Out: Czichos (groin), Hector (neck), Kainz (knee), Mere (knock)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon (Otavio 76') - Schlager, Arnold - Steffen (Marmoush 90'), Philipp (Ginczek 68'), Brekalo - Weghorst
Unused subs: Pervan, Klaus, Mbabu, Bialek, Gerhardt, Pongracic
Out: Guilavogui (thigh), Mehmedi (Achilles tendon)
Coach: Oliver Glasner