Köln safe after putting four past Darmstadt


1. FC Köln are assured of their Bundesliga survival after beating SV Darmstadt 98 4-1 on Matchday 31.

1. FC Köln 4-1 SV Darmstadt 98

Goals: 1-0 Modeste (4'), 1-1 Gondorf (12'), 2-1 Modeste (35'), 3-1 Risse (52'), 4-1 Risse (75')

Köln made a positive start at their RheinEnergieSTADION and took the lead inside the first five minutes when Anthony Modeste played a smart one-two with Yannick Gerhardt before finding the corner of Christian Mathenia's goal. Darmstadt returned fire less than ten minutes later with Jerome Gondorf capitalising on some indecisive defending in the Köln box to score for the second time in three weeks. The hosts made it 2-1 before the half was out, though, when Modeste grabbed his second of the game and 14th of the season after latching onto Frederik Sörensen's speculative ball forward.

Köln pulled further clear at the start of the second half thanks a stunning strike from Marcel Risse. The winger tied Darmstadt left-back Junior Diaz in knots before chipping Mathenia with the outside of his boot from a tight angle. Darmstadt threatened to reduce the arrears around the hour mark, but Mario Vrancic's free-kick bounced back off the post before Aytac Sulu - the top-scoring defender in Europe this season with seven league goals - saw his header hit the crossbar. Köln were not done, though, and Risse thrashed home on the volley to seal a 4-1 win, guaranteeing Köln's survival in the process.

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- © gettyimages / Juergen Schwarz/Bongarts

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