Game Report: Bundesliga, Fixture 15, Bayer Leverkusen vs 1.FC Cologne 3:2

Derby winners!!!!  Not an overall convincing performance by the Werkself against a team that will have a tough time to stay in the 1.Bundesliga.  But hey it was important to add again 3 points after two draws in a row.

In a 4-2-3-1, Bayer 04 began strong with 2 good chances in the first 20 minutes by Helmes.  After incredibly missing the first one, right in front of goal, he put the Werkself ahead in the 21st minute when Mondragon failed to secure the ball after a shot by Renato Augusto.  The lead did not last long, 6 minutes later Geromel was invited to score.  Just like against Hoffenheim the opponent got back into the game with a free-kick situation which we could have defended better.  Bayer 04 continued to set the tone but Cologne at no moment limited itself to just defending.  Sami Hyypiä had to be substituted minutes before the break, due to muscle problems.  It was just a preocaution to avoid another injury as the coach explained after the match.  Rolfes came on for the Finnish player and Reinartz moved back into central defense.  10 minutes into the second half Barnetta scored for Leverkusen in a well played attack.  Podolski could have evened again, but his goal was disallowed for offside, a close decision by the referee!  In the 61st minute Reinartz headed a loose ball in the area over the line for the 3:1.  M.Friedrich who was always good for goals after corners last season, hit only the crossbar in this situation and continues therefore with no goals this season.  Cologne kept on fighting and created a lot of danger in the following 15 minutes.  Lanig who came in after the 3:1 had most of the chances and luckily only scored one.  Balitsch substitution brought some stability and Bayer 04 managed to keep the result and add another victory in the Bundesliga.

I was very happy to see such an active Helmes especially in the second half, he ran more than usual.  No wonder that the coach decided to give him 90 minutes and leave Derdiyok on the bench.

What I didn’t like was again giving the opponent a chance to come back.  We have to improve in defending free-kicks and try not to come under pressure with a 2:0/3:1 for us.  Especially against Cologne, a team that is rather weak.  Vidal and Rolfes are not at the same level as they were a few weeks ago.  The Chilean only won 4 of 20 battles in midfield.  Not normal for him and in Hoffenheim the picture was similar!  I guess it has also to do with the calf pains he was suffering in the last week.

Sidney Sam was disappointing against Cologne, but that has to be excused after weeks of outstanding games.  Tranquillo Barnetta could have made on Sunday the best game this season.  It was time!

I want to see at least 4 points out of the last two games to be 100% happy with our first 17 Bundesliga games.  With two wins we could even reach 35 points at half-time of the Bundesliga season just like last year!   

Line-up: Leverkusen (top) vs Cologne (bottom)

Substitutions Leverkusen
44 min. Rolfes for Hyypiä
70 min. L. Bender for Sam
79 min. Balitsch for Renato Augusto

Substitutions Cologne
64 min. Lanig for Pezzoni
70 min. Ionita for Freis
85 min. Terodde for Brecko

Yellow cards: Renato Augusto (Leverkusen); Petit (Cologne)

1:0 Helmes (21 min.)
1:1 Geromel (27 min.)
2:1 Barnetta (55 min.)
3:1 Reinartz (61 min.)
3:2 Lanig (65 min.)

Statistics Leverkusen vs Cologne
Posession: 54 % vs 46 %
Shots: 11 vs 15
Fouls: 10 vs 20
Corners: 5 vs 0
Offsides: 1 vs 5

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longer video clip, better quality>>

Pyrotechnic devices burned by Cologne fans

Brian the Lion in Christmas gear

“Cologne smells”

More pictures>>

A “robbery” took place during the game in Cologne’s changing room.  Mobile phones, money and other items were stolen.  Lukas Podolski broke a glass inside the BayArena, he was probably angry about the defeat and the robbery.

It’s definitely not a game like any other!


-An Italian club is watching Lars Bender
-Vidal has also caught attention of FC Bayern Munich

More information in the Transfer Gossip section @

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