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bundesliga

Timo Werner strikes on return but 10-man RB Leipzig held by Cologne

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Timo Werner scored on his Bundesliga return – and Christopher Nkunku got another – but the 10 men of RB Leipzig were held to a 2-2 draw by Cologne after a Josko Gvardiol own goal.

RB Leipzig 2-2 Cologne
Goals: 1-0 Werner 36’ (assist: Henrichs), 1-1 Dietz 40’ (assist: Kainz), 2-1 Nkunku 56’ (assist: Olmo), 2-2 Gvardiol 72’ (og.)
Red card: Szoboszlai 45’+1

The game got off to the fast-paced start expected of these two teams. Cologne came closest first when Jan Thielmann just missed a flash across goal in the opening minutes. Leipzig thought they had the lead when Dani Olmo picked out the far corner, but it was chalked off on review due to handball by David Raum. Nkunku rounded Marvin Schwäbe not long after, but was flagged offside. Werner had been quiet thus far, but took centre stage on 36 minutes when the returning striker let fly from 25 yards and the ball burst through Schwäbe to put Die Roten Bullen in front. However, their lead lasted barely five minutes when Cologne youngster Florian Dietz turned in a Florian Kainz cross for a classic Effzeh goal. The home side were then reduced to 10 men on the verge of half-time when Dominik Szoboszlai threw an arm in Kainz’s face and was shown red.

Despite bring a man down, it was still Leipzig who came out and controlled the game. And their persistence was rewarded shortly before the hour mark when Olmo played in Nkunku, with the 2021/22 Bundesliga Player of the Season making no mistake on his left foot. That simply sparked the Billy Goats into action again, though, with Kainz in particular posing a threat with crosses into the area. And one of his corners brought Cologne level when Mohamed Simakan flicked the ball on at the near post and onto the thigh of the helpless Gvardiol, who put through his own net. It's the first time Leipzig have gone three games without a win under Domenico Tedesco as they make it two draws to open the Bundesliga campaign. Cologne move onto four points after their opening win against Schalke ahead of the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League play-off tie against Fehervar on Thursday.

Match stats

  • Werner got his 79th Bundesliga goal in 128 appearances for Leipzig. No other player has more than 40 for the club in the top flight.
  • Just seven of his 92 Bundesliga goals have come from outside the box.
  • Dietz got his first Bundesliga goal in just his second game and with his seventh shot.
  • Szoboszlai received the first red card of his senior career, and the first for a Leipzig player in the Bundesliga since Dayot Upamecano against Paderborn (also coached by Steffen Baumgart) in June 2020.
  • Nkunku has had a direct hand in four of Leipzig's six competitive goals this season (three goals, one assist).
  • Only Robert Lewandowski has scored more Bundesliga goals in 2022 (16) than Nkunku (15).

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Watch: Timo Werner: "You forget what it's like here"

Teams

Leipzig: Gulacsi (c) - Simakan, Orban, Halstenberg (Gvardiol 46’) - Novoa (Kampl 46’), Henrichs, Szoboszlai, Raum - Olmo (Haidara 87’) - Nkunku, Werner
Unused subs: Blaswich, Forsberg, Silva, Schlager, Ba, Sorloth
Out: Klostermann (ankle), Poulsen (thigh)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco

Cologne: Schwäbe - Ehizibue (Schmitz 62’), Kilian, Hübers, Hector (c) – Martel (Duda 62’), Skhiri - Thielmann (Mainz 62’), Ljubicic (Lemperle 73’), Kainz - Dietz (Adamyan 73’)
Unused subs: Horn, Pedersen, Chabot, Olesen
Out: Limnios (knee), Uth (groin)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart