Bayer Leverkusen safe after Cologne draw

Bayer Leverkusen came from two goals down to draw with Cologne and effectively put an end to any lingering relegation worries in a compelling Rhine derby.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Cologne

Goals: 0-1 Jojic (14'), 0-2 Klünter (49'), 1-2 Kießling (60'), 2-2 Pohjanpalo (71')

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Needing the points to avoid being drawn into the thick of the relegation quagmire, Leverkusen started the stronger. Cologne could not live with visiting striker Stefan Kießling, who forced a pair of fine saves from Timo Horn. Bayer were made to rue those missed chances, however, as Milos Jojic drove home the opener with aid of a huge deflection off Tin Jedvaj. Undeterred, the home side continued to attack with purpose, but neither Kießling nor Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez could find a way past the excellent Horn.

It looked like being one of those days for Leverkusen when Horn kept out a fierce Julian Brandt effort shortly after the restart. True to the pattern of the game, Cologne doubled their lead with the next attack - a superb solo run and finish from 20-year-old Lukas Klünter. Kießling did find a way past Horn with an hour gone, and the turnaround was complete when substitute Joel Pohjanpalo met Kai Havertz's dinked cross to level and all but secure Bayer's top-flight status for another campaign.

Man of the match

Cologne were clinical, but it was Horn's defiance between the posts that ensures the Billy Goats go into their final game of the season against Mainz with a chance of securing a place in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League.

Talking Point

Leverkusen have done what they needed to do - with a helping hand from elsewhere - but it's Cologne who are kings of the Rhineland this season.


Bayer Leverkusen: Leno - Henrichs, Tah, Jedvaj, Wendell - Baumgartlinger, Aranguiz (Kampl 57') - Havertz (Bailey 86'), Brandt - Kießling (c), Chicharito (Pohjanpalo 68')

Coach: Tayfun Korkut

Cologne: Horn – Klünter, Sörensen, Subotic, Heinz – Hector, Lehmann (c), Jojic (Rausch 75'), Bittencourt (Höger 57'), Zoller (Osako 46') – Modeste
Coach: Peter Stöger

Match stats

    Cologne scored with their first and second attempts on goal.Klünter opened his Bundesliga account on his eighth appearance, with his third shot on goal.Pohjanpalo has scored five substitute goals this term.

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