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bundesliga

Florian Kainz helps Cologne to a four-midable win at Wolfsburg

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Florian Kainz scored one and set up a further two as Cologne came from behind to beat Wolfsburg 4-2 at the Volkswagen Arena.

Wolfsburg 2-4 Cologne
Goals: 1-0 L. Nmecha 2‘ (assist: Franjic), 1-1 Ljubicic 22’ (assist: Kainz), 1-2 Otavio (o.g. 32’), 1-3 Kainz (40’+2, pen.), 2-3 L. Nmecha 79’, 2-4 Adamyan 81’ (assist: Kainz)

The Wolves were growling at the get-go and a perfectly weighted pass from Bartol Franjic put Lukas Nmecha through on goal, and the German forward made no mistake as he slotted his shot low past Marvin Schwäbe. The puff soon ran out, though, as Cologne quickly turned the tables. Dejan Ljubicic levelled for the guests when Florian Kainz fed him a pass on a golden platter, and the Austrian provided the finish. Kainz was involved again in the build-up to Cologne’s second goal of the game, winning back possession and launching an attack down the left. Jonas Hector crossed the ball in and Paulo Otavio’s attempted interception struck Diego Benaglio and rebounded back against the Wolfsburg defender and into the back of the net. Cologne then doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time after a VAR consultation by the referee led to a penalty being given to the guests for a foul inside the area. Kainz stepped up and dispatched the penalty, his second in the Bundesliga.

Wolfsburg unsurprisingly emerged for the second half as they had the first, forcing the first saves out of Cologne goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe. They could not create any clearcut chances, though, and Cologne rarely looked likely to concede. As the clock ticked on, a drop in the Wolves’ confidence levels transferred into a growth in Cologne’s belief that they could come away with a win, although that changed – albeit temporarily – when Nmecha netted his second of the game to bring the Wolves right back in it. Joy was short-lived, though, as Kainz sent a searching ball over the top which picked out Adamyan, who scored his first goal of the season with a shot which went in off the inside of the right-hand upright. It restored Cologne's two-goal cushion, which they defended to the end to extend their unbeaten start to the season to five games.

Match stats

  • Lukas Nmecha scored the fastest goal so far this season, replacing Mario Götze, who had scored after one minute and 50 seconds on Matchday 4.
  • The last time Wolfsburg conceded three goals in a first half of a home match was on April 17, 2021, when they lost 3-2 to Bayern; at that time, too, the score was 3-1 at half-time.
  • Kainz has a 100% record from the penalty spot, netting his second after converting his first attempt in 2020.
  • His three assists this season is a team high.
  • Cologne have won every game (five) in which Ljubicic has scored.
  • With just two points from their first five games, the Wolves are currently enduring their worst ever start to a Bundesliga season.

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Watch: Lukas Nmecha - "We need to pull ourselves together"

Teams

Wolfsburg: Casteels - Baku, Bornauw (Marmoush 46'), Van de Ven, Otavio (Kaminski 75') – Waldschmidt (Paredes 61'), Guilavogui, Arnold (c) (Svanberg 75'), Franjic (F. Nmecha 74') - Kruse, L. Nmecha
Unused subs: Pervan, Fischer, Lacroix, Brekalo
Out: Gerhardt (ligament), Roussillon (Achilles), Wind (thigh), Wimmer (head)
Coach: Niko Kovac

Cologne: Schwäbe - Schindler, Kilian, Hübers, Hector (c) - Skhiri - Ljubicic (Martel 88'), Duda (Maina 65'), Kainz (Huseinbasic 88') - Thielmann (Adamyan 65'), Tigges (Lemperle 80')
Unused subs: Horn, Pedersen, Smajic, Strauch
Out: Chabot (ankle), Limnios (knee), Martel (hand) Olesen (ankle), Schmitz (ankle), Uth (pubic bone)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart