RB Leipzig produced a fine performance - notably in the first half - to get the better of Cologne and keep pace with leaders Bayern Munich.
RB Leipzig 3-1 Cologne
Leipzig came out all guns blazing at their Red Bull Arena, and deservedly took the lead through Emil Forsberg in just the fifth minute. Cologne keeper Thomas Kessler was guilty of a poor clearance, and Timo Werner nodded it down for the Swedish winger, who steered into the far corner for his seventh of the campaign. With their formidable trio of Forsberg, Werner and Naby Keita, the hosts looked dangerous every time they came forward, and it was a cross from the Guinean that led to their second goal – Dominic Maroh inadvertently turning into his own net to make it 2-0 at half-time.
To their credit, Cologne improved after the break, and after a couple of half-chances for top marksman Anthony Modeste, they pulled one back through Yuya Osako, who also scored in the reverse fixture. Just as the visitors were taking control of proceedings, though, Werner restored Leipzig's two-goal advantage with a superbly-taken individual goal, after a long ball forward from Keita. The hosts controlled the rest of the game to make it back-to-back wins and stay in touch with leaders Bayern.
Man of the Match
Werner will make the headlines for his goal-scoring heroics, but it was Keita who pulled all of the strings for Leipzig in midfield. The Guinean had a hand in two of their goals – crossing in for Maroh's own goal, and sending a long ball forward for Werner's third – and generally dictated the pace of the game.
Many have questioned whether Leipzig can carry their remarkable form into the business end of their maiden Bundesliga season, and this was an emphatic response from Ralph Hasenhüttl's side. Notwithstanding fifteen minutes at the start of the second half, they dominated Cologne to stay within touching distance of leaders Bayern. With more performances of this calibre, they could push the record champions all the way. At the very least, they look certain to get a first taste of UEFA Champions League football.
- With Forsberg's 5th-minute opener, Leipzig have now scored a Bundesliga-high eight goals in the first six minutes of games this season.Leipzig have forced their opponents into scoring four own goals this season, while the rest of the Bundesliga have only managed five between them.Werner has scored the same number of goals in 21 games for Leipzig (13) as he netted in 95 games for VfB Stuttgart.
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Schmitz, Orban (c), Compper, Halstenberg – Keita (Kaiser 86'), Ilsanker, Demme – Sabitzer, Werner (Selke 84'), Forsberg (Khedira 65')
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Cologne: Kessler – Maroh (Zoller 46'), Subotic, Heintz – Olkowski, Hector (c), Rausch – Clemens, Höger (Jojic 76') – Osako, Modeste
Coach: Peter Stöger
Watch: Forsberg gives his thoughts on the game: