Cologne recorded their third successive Bundesliga win, thanks to first-half goals from Jorge Mere and Jonas Hector on another disappointing night for bottom side Paderborn.
Paderborn 1-2 Cologne
Goals: 0-1 Mere (28'), 0-2 Hector (36'), 1-2 Srbeny (73')
With Paderborn rock bottom and having lost their last three in a row, it was understandable that Cologne made the brighter start having won seven of their last nine Bundesliga matches. Schalke loanee Mark Uth wasted no time in having the first shot of the game just minutes in but his effort from the edge of the box was tamely struck and straight at Leopold Zingerle. The hosts responded in kind but without carving out any clear-cut chances and eventually fell behind just inside the half hour. Mere - in the side in place of the injured Sebastiaan Bornauw - tapped home the opener from just two yards out, turning in Uth's header from Florian Kainz's corner. The Billy Goats wasted no time doubling their lead, captain Hector sweeping a sumptuous curling effort into the top right hand corner from his wand of a left foot to make it 2-0.
The second half resumed with Cologne in control, and Paderborn unable to find their footing in the game. Sebastian Vasiliadis did have the chance to replicate Hector's sublime effort an hour in, but the midfielder could only balloon over from the edge of the box. They did pull one back with just over quarter of an hour to go, though, Dennis Srbeny scoring his fourth goal in eight appearances since re-joining the club to give the home fans hope of a third home win of the season. Paderborn immediately pressed for an unlikely equaliser and with just three minutes remaining almost had it but for Timo Horn's outstanding save that - combined with the Cologne crossbar - denied Abdelhamid Sabiri's dipping free-kick. But, try as they might, Paderborn couldn't find a way back and remain rooted to the foot of the table.
- Mere scored his second Bundesliga goal, and first since the 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund back on 2 February 2018.
- Hector's effort was his fourth of the season in his 22nd game. His previous four Bundesliga campaigns had only brought him a combined five goals from 119 appearances.
- Basement-dwelling Paderborn aren't bottom for want of trying. Baumgart's men have covered 1,845 miles, with only Bayer Leverkusen (1,785 miles) covering more turf this season.
- Cologne are now unbeaten in their four Bundesliga meetings with Paderborn (W2, D2). This win saw them complete the league double over their hosts for the first time in the top flight, following their 3-0 victory in Matchday 8's reverse fixture.
- Srbeny scored his fourth Bundesliga in eight Bundesliga appearances - but his first header.
- This was the first time Paderborn found the back of the net in a Bundesliga meeting between these two sides.
Watch: Ehizibue: "Must stay humble"
Paderborn: Zingerle - Jans, Strohdiek (c), Schonlau, Collins - Pröger, Vasiliadis, Fridjonsson (Ritter 73'), Antwi-Adjei (Holtmann 42') - Srbeny, Michel (Sabiri 46')
Unused subs: Jastrzembski, Zolinski, Dräger, Gjasula, Hünemeier, Huth
Out: Killian (hamstring), Mamba (knee)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Cologne: Horn - Ehizibue, Mere, Leistner, Schmitz - Skhiri, Hector (c) (Rexhbecaj 74') - Kainz, Uth (Drexler 82'), Jakobs - Modeste (Terodde 84')
Unused subs: Krahl, Höger, Risse, Schindler, Thielmann, Voloder
Out: Bornauw (muscular), Cordoba (suspended), Czichos (neck), Katterbach (ankle), Kessler (calf)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Watch: Srbeny: "Anything's possible"