The Reds went in front after only five minutes play with Joselu beating Timo Horn on the turn after Jimmy Briand's effort was blocked.
Not only was it the first time Horn had been beaten in the Bundesliga, but it was also the earliest goal Köln have conceded since Peter Stöger took charge. The goal gave Tayfun Korkut's men confidence and Marcelo perhaps should have doubled their lead with a volley which he sent over after good work from Leonardo Bittencourt and Leon Andreasen.
Köln responded in kind, pitching their tent in and around the Hannover box for much of the second half, but the hosts had drawn a line that they were not going to let the Billy Goats cross. Ron Robert Zieler was the furthest man behind that line and his authority ensured Hannover's defence was not going to be breached.
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