Rouwen Hennings and Erik Thommy grabbed the goals as Fortuna Düsseldorf got the better of local rivals Cologne in the Rhine derby.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 2-0 Cologne
Goals: 1-0 Hennings (pen. 38'), 2-0 Thommy (61')
Visitors Cologne enjoyed the lion's share of possession in a keenly contested first half, but struggled to turn their dominance into chances. The best of a lean bunch fell to striker Simon Terodde, but he was unable to direct his header from Jonas Hector's cross on target. Fortuna were more effective as an attacking unit as Thommy tested Timo Horn with an ambitious 40-yard lob, and Hennings sent an effort against the woodwork. The signs were there for Cologne before Rafael Czichos brought down USA international Alfredo Morales in the box in the 38th minute. The referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Hennings made no mistake with the finish.
Cologne went all-out attack at the start of the second half as Terodde directed another header off target. Louis Schaub headed narrowly wide, before USA international Zack Steffen - playing in the Rhine derby for the first time - stood tall to deny Terodde in a game-defining one-on-one. Fortuna had been up against it, but doubled their lead with their next attack. After a Cologne corner came to nothing, Kaan Ayhan punted the ball upfield for Thommy to chase. He outdid Kingsley Schindler in a foot race, before sweeping an emphatic finish beyond Horn. Cologne fought valiantly for a way back into the contest, but it was Fortuna and Hennings who went closest to getting on the scoresheet in the closing stages. The win puts three points between 13th-placed Fortuna and second-bottom Cologne.
- Cologne suffered their first Bundesliga defeat to Fortuna in nine matches. They hadn't lost on their last eight Bundesliga visits to Dusseldorf, stretching back to 1983.
- Fortuna and Cologne were playing in their first Bundesliga Rhine derby since 1996/97.
- Fortuna's Steffen has made a league-leading 42 Bundesliga saves in 2019/20.
- Thommy scored his first Bundesliga goal since joining Fortuna from VfB Stuttgart in the summer.
- Hennings is Fortuna's top scorer this season with six Bundesliga goals. Only Robert Lewandowski and Timo Werner have scored more goals than him in the league so far.
- Morales covered more ground than any player on the pitch prior to his late substitution.
Düsseldorf: Steffen – Ayhan, Bodzek, Adams – Zimmer (Kownacki 77'), Zimmermann, Fink (c) (Hoffmann 67'), Morales (Sobottka 81'), Gießelmann – Thommy - Hennings
Unused subs: Kastenmeier, Contento, Ampomah, Bormuth, Baker, Tekpetey
Out: Barkok (match fitness), Karaman (pneumonia), Pledl (knee), Rensing (shoulder), Stöger (match fitness)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel
Cologne: Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach (Höger 7') - Schindler (Modeste 78'), Skhiri, Hector (c), Drexler (Cordoba 63') – Schaub, Terodde
Unused subs: Kessler, Schmitz, Risse, Versteaete, Koziello, Mere
Out: Bader (knock), Clemens (match fitness), Kainz (knock), Sobiech (thigh)
Coach: Achim Beierlorzer