The Billy Goats looked to be heading home with a priceless point after a typically dogged defensive display, only to concede from a corner kick at the last.
The derby banter was in full flow between both sets of fans prior to kick-off, but it was hosts Gladbach who quickly locked down possession. Köln goalkeeper Timo Horn was eventually forced into action to tip Julian Korb’s deflected strike over the crossbar, before Megrim Mavraj put in a superbly-timed challenge to deny Raffael a clear sight of goal. Marcel Risse chanced his arm from range for the visitors, bringing the first save of the afternoon out of Yann Sommer towards the end of the half.
A flowing Gladbach move almost produced the first goal as Raffael released Max Kruse, who was unable to steer his effort past Horn, before Xhaka stung the steely palms of Köln’s unwavering No1. Lucien Favre’s men couldn’t have done much more, but their persistence was rewarded when the effervescent Xhaka powered in second-half substitute Thorgan Hazard’s right-wing corner in the first minute of added time.
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