Jhon Cordoba struck twice with Jonas Hector also on target as Cologne continued their recent revival with a their fourth straight win, 3-1 over Wolfsburg, on Saturday.
Cologne 3-1 Wolfsburg
Goals: 1-0 Cordoba (22'), 2-0 Cordoba (45+2), 3-0 Hector (62'), 3-1 Steffen (66')
Wout Weghorst and Josip Brekalo both squandered excellent early chances with the Wolves wondering how they were not in front before the clock had three minutes on it. After surviving that early siege, Cologne rediscovered the fighting qualities that have seen them rise off the foot of the table and out of the bottom three under Markus Gisdol, and they took the lead midway through the half with the sort of efficiency Wolfsburg had been lacking; Cordoba converted their first chance of the game, heading in new signing Mark Uth's free-kick. Uth, making his first appearance for his hometown club, sent in an eminently improved Cologne's second shot on target as the hosts started to justify their lead. Hector then sent a free-header wide and – surprisingly, given the start they had made – it was Wolfsburg who wanted to hear the half-time whistle early. Before that would happen, a finely-timed challenge by Jerome Roussillon was needed to prevent Cordoba from doubling Cologne's lead, but that exemplary moment of defending was followed by a mistake which allowed Cordoba to complete his first Bundesliga brace in his 84th game.
Cologne were much quicker out of the blocks in the second half with Uth's shot tipped wide of the far post. Wolfsburg's reply was a Daniel Ginczek effort which Timo Horn turned away, but it did not take long before Uth's corner was headed onto the far post by Rafael Czichos for Hector to nod in Cologne's third unmarked. Wolfsburg substitute Renato Steffen reduced the arrears within five minutes, coolly slotting home after being put through by Brekalo, and he could have added a second just moments later when he lifted his shot over Horn's goal with only the Cologne custodian to beat. Maximilian Arnold brought the best out of Horn with a curling free-kick as the guests gave it their all in a bid to salvage a point, but their miserable run in Cologne continued as the hosts celebrated a fourth straight win for the first time since 2001.
- Cologne have taken more points in seven matches under Gisdol (13) than in 11 Bundesliga outings under predecessor Achim Beierlorzer (seven).
- The Billy Goats have now won four in a row for the first time in 19 years, after recording two wins in their previous 14.
- Cordoba scored Cologne's eighth and Hector their ninth headed goals of the season – a league high.
- All six of Cordoba's goals this season have come on home soil, at the RheinEnergieSTADION.
- Uth's assist for Cordoba's opener was his first of the season, after going eight games without contributing to a goal with Schalke.
- Wolfsburg are winless in their last five trips to Cologne (D2, L3).
Cologne: Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach – Skhiri, Hector (c) – Thielmann (Drexler 73'), Uth (Risse 78'), Jakobs – Cordoba (Modeste 88')
Unused subs: Kessler, Schmitz, Terodde, Rexhbecaj, Mere, Kainz
Out: Clemens (knee)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Wolfsburg: Casteels – Mbabu, Tisserand, Brooks, Roussillon – Schlager, Guilavogui (c) (Mehmedi 86'), Arnold – Brekalo (Joao Victor 77') – Weghorst, Ginczek (Steffen 57')
Unused subs: Pervan, William, Paulo Otavio, Klaus, Gerhardt, Knoche
Out: Camacho (ankle)
Coach: Oliver Glasner