Cologne dare to dream after victory over Bayer Leverkusen

Cologne moved off the foot of the Bundesliga table for the first time since Matchday 2 on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Bayer Leverkusen.

Cologne 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Goals: 1-0 Osako (9'), 2-0 Zoller (69')
Sent off: Alario (33')

Cologne defied their lowly position in the standings with a first-half display that was full of energy and vigour, hounding their guests into mistakes and stifling Leverkusen's build-up play. Leonardo Bittencourt was a constant menace down the left wing and he created the hosts' opener, crossing for Yuya Osako to squeeze a shot under Bernd Leno. Matters took a turn for the worse for the visitors on 33 minutes when striker Lucas Alario was sent off, but the Billy Goats were unable to add to the scoreline before the break.

Leverkusen could have equalised within seconds of the restart following a slick attacking move, but Julian Brandt's powerful shot was well saved by Timo Horn. Indeed, Bayer were the better side for much of the second period, but were again at fault for the next setback when Charles Aranguiz's attempted header back to the goalkeeper was intercepted by Simon Zoller, who lobbed the ball over the onrushing Leno before lashing into the empty net to secure three much-needed points in their efforts to avoid relegation.

Match stats

    Osako scored for a second successive game for Cologne.Leonardo Bittencourt provided his first assist of the season here. Zoller found the net with his first shot of the game, scoring his second goal of the season.This was the Billy Goats first win in their last five games against their local rivals (previously two wins, two draws).The result was only Leverkusen's third defeat at Cologne in the last 25 years.Thirteen players have found the target for Leverkusen this season, with Kevin Volland the only player in double figures.


Cologne: T. Horn – Maroh, Mere, Heintz – Risse, Höger (Özcan,59'), Koziello, Hector (c) – Zoller (Pizarro 80'), Osako, Bittencourt (Clemens 71')
Unused subs: Kessler, Cordoba, Klünter, Lehmann
Absentees: Sörensen (broken nose), Queiros (match fitness), Nartey (hamstring), Risa (match fitness), Guirassy (ankle), Jojic (muscular)
Coach: Stefan Ruthenbeck

Leverkusen: Leno (c) - Jedvaj (Henrichs 46'), S. Bender, Tah, Wendell - Baumgartlinger (Pohjanpalo 46'), Aranguiz - Brandt, Havertz, Bailey (Bellarabi 73') – Alario
Unused subs: Özcan, Retsos, Kohr, Frey
Absentees: N/A
Coach: Heiko Herrlich

Watch: Vincent Koziello: "Still hope!"

As it happened