In front of the watching eyes of Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel, Anthony Modeste almost provided a spectacular opening with an overhead kick which missed the target, but the first goal came at the other end after excellent work by Bobby Wood saw the ball fall to the feet of Müller to slot in. Milos Jojic headed in Christian Clemens cross to bring the guests back on terms before Kyriakos Papadopoulos twice went close for Hamburg.
Wood squandered a good early chance in the second half before Hamburg's hopes suffered a setback as Müller limped off. Cologne could not capitalise on their opponents losing their hitherto most dangerous player, though. Instead it was Hamburg who celebrated late on when Holtby converted only moments after being denied a goal due to offside, and it was enough to lift the Red Shorts out of the bottom three.
Man of the match
Lewis Holtby pulled the strings for Hamburg, forming a productive attacking outlet with Müller and showing precision with set-pieces which frequently created openings. He also grabbed the winner and appears to be finding his best form lately under Markus Gisdol.
Not only did his team miss an opportunity to move up to fifth, Anthony Modeste also lost ground in the running for the top-scorer's gong this season. He went close with an early overhead kick, but with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Robert Lewandowski both on target in their games, the Frenchman has now slipped to third in the current scoring charts.
- Müller has been involved in seven of his side's last 11Bundesliga goals, moving level with Wood as HSV's top-scorer on five goals for the season.
- Jojic's eighth Bundesliga goal was his first with his head.
- Clemens delivered his first assist of the season, getting involved in a goal for the first time since 2012.
Hamburg: Adler - Diekmeier, Papadopoulos, Mavraj, Santos – Jung (46' Ekdal), Walace (70' Sakai) – Müller (54' Gregoritsch), Holtby, Kostic – Wood
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Cologne: Horn - Olkowski, Maroh (46' Heintz), Subotic, Hector (c) – Clemens (76' Guirassy), Höger, Jojic, Rausch - Zoller, Modeste
Coach: Peter Stöger