23rd matchday: 1. FC Köln, in danger of relegation, fought to a 1-1 draw at VfB

23rd matchday
1. FC Köln, in danger of relegation, fought to a 1-1 draw at VfB

Stuttgart’s Josha Vagnoman (M) tries to assert himself against Cologne’s Julian Chabot (l) and Eric Martel. photo

© Marijan Murat/dpa

After four wins in a row, VfB Stuttgart didn’t want to be stopped by 1. FC Cologne, who were in danger of relegation. In the end there is only a draw.

The 1. FC Cologne sent a small sign of life in the relegation battle of the Bundesliga with a surprising point win against Champions League contenders VfB Stuttgart. Coach Timo Schultz’s guests fought to a 1-1 (0-0) draw with the Swabians.

Eric Martel quickly equalized VfB’s lead from Enzo Millot (53rd minute) in front of 54,500 spectators (62nd). Table 16. from Cologne has not come any closer to the non-relegation places despite gaining points. The clearly favored Swabians missed their fifth win in a row, but as third in the table they still have a cushion over their pursuers in the fight for qualification for the premier class.

“You can’t talk around it anymore – we want to play internationally. That’s the goal,” said VfB striker Deniz Undav, who was taking a break, on Sky before the game: “We’re trying to be as successful as possible and then we’ll see if it’s possible enough for the Europa League or the Champions League.”

Undav scored his first two Bundesliga goals in the 2-0 first leg win in Cologne. This time the European Championship candidate was missing due to a torn muscle fiber. Waldemar Anton and substitute goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow were fit in time from a VfB trio who had also been ailing during the week. Maximilian Mittelstädt initially only sat on the bench.

For the guests, defender Timo Hübers was out for a short time, while offensive talent Justin Diehl, who is said to be courted by VfB, was put into the starting line-up for the first time. His teammate Jan Thielmann had the first promising chance when he tested Bredlow in the 3rd minute.

After about a quarter of an hour, however, the hosts put Cologne under increasing pressure in a period of pressure. Woo-yeong Jeong failed with two shots in quick succession against Cologne goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe (14th). A few minutes later, the South Korean crossed to Serhou Guirassy, ​​whose header flew just wide of the left post. And Enzo Millot also missed the lead (23rd).

But the Stuttgart team didn’t succeed in everything either. So the Swabians didn’t convert their playful superiority into anything countable. The Cologne team revealed their well-known problems in building up the game; they managed to get a shot from Diehl on a counterattack (21′).

After the break, the Cologne team waited on the pitch until the hosts came out of the locker room. But the Swabians were brighter and used a nice combination to make it 1-0. Chris Führich played a one-two with Hiroki Ito on the left and then set up for Millot. The midfielder converted from close range.

Cologne coach Timo Schultz reacted to the deficit with a double substitution and sent Linton Maina and Faride Alidou onto the pitch after an hour. And that immediately paid off. Martel used a cross from Maina to equalize.

On the side of the dominant VfB, Silas Katompa Mvumpa, Mittelstädt and Mahmoud Dahoud should bring new impetus. Millot missed a promising chance to win (68th). After some negligence in the VfB defense on the other side, Alidou ran towards goalkeeper Bredlow but shot wide of the goal (82′).


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