Bayer Leverkusen gave a lead that was deemed safe in the Rhenish derby at 1. FC Köln. Goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky is clearly critical. Cologne celebrates their double goalscorer.

Anthony Modeste (2nd from left) was the celebrated Cologne player in the derby against Leverkusen.  Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd / dpa (Image: dpa) Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd / dpa

Anthony Modeste (2nd from left) was the celebrated Cologne player in the derby against Leverkusen. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd / dpa (Image: dpa)
(Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd / dpa)

Cologne – The fans of 1. FC Köln celebrated their double-pack hero Anthony Modeste with loud chants; the professionals of Bayer Leverkusen crept into the guest curve disappointed.

With a thrilling race to catch up; Cologne defended their impressive home run in the 2-2 (0-2) derby on Sunday and prevented their Rhenish rivals from returning to third place.

With his two goals in the second half (63rd/82nd minute); Modeste became the second foreign FC professional after Toni Polster to break the limit of 50 goals in the Bundesliga. “I think a lot of people would sign the 2-2;” said the 33-year-old Frenchman at DAZN with satisfaction. -We’ve turned the game around; that’s our strength this season. This is our living room; it’s not easy to win here.” The Cologne team was seven points behind this season and is still unbeaten in front of the home crowd.

Next silencer for Bayer

Leverkusen; on the other hand; was left without a win in the third league game in a row and suffered the next setback after the 1:5 against FC Bayern a week earlier. -When you fall from 2-2 to 2-2 as a leader in the derby; it feels like a defeat. We could have led by 3:0; 4:0 against situations and then we switch off;” said goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. “It annoys me; it’s annoying.” Patrik Schick (15th) and Karim Bellarabi (17th) met before Leverkusen in front of 49;600 spectators in the RheinEnergieStadion.

Bayer coach Gerardo Seoane responded to the intense stress three days after Sevilla’s trip in the Europa League with two fresh forces on the offensive. In addition to Schick; who was replaced shortly before the end; ex-Cologne Florian Wirtz also joined the team. The 18-year-old; whose move to the other side of the Rhine caused much discussion; was mercilessly whistled by the Cologne crowd at every touch of the ball.

Leverkusen fast forward

Nevertheless; the attacking midfielder was a more stimulating element to the team and was involved in many attacks by the agile Leverkusen squad. The team’s travel tensions were barely noticeable and so the quick 2-0 lead within 100 seconds by a goal from Schick after a fine pass from Moussa Diaby and shortly afterwards from Bellarabi; who converted a rebound; almost made sense. For Schick it was already the eighth goal of the season; the team from Leverkusen scored a total of eleven goals in the first 20 minutes of this season – a league record.

For example; the plan of FC coach Baumgart; who had installed a more compact defense with double six and year-old Luca Kilian to respond to the speed of Bayer’s attack series; was quickly thrown overboard. FC stabilizer Ellyes Skhiri was not yet available due to an injury and is noticeably missing from the team. Cologne was also lucky when right back Jeremie Frimpong hit the crossbar in the 25th minute.

The hosts themselves had few scoring opportunities. Returning to the team; Captain Jonas Hector had two: a shot from a distance and one with his head (33rd/44th). Modeste had a difficult attack against Leverkusen’s strong central defence; but got there for the first time after an hour and marked the connecting goal after Hector’s cross. The Cologne team kept pushing for the equalizer and Modeste was back; scoring the acclaimed points win with his sixth goal of the season. “What sets the boys apart is that they don’t give up;” said coach Baumgart; who meanwhile reported clear words: “I asked them to be brave and not to piss their pants.”

© dpa-infocom; dpa: 211024-99-719155 / 3


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