Nine-man Werkself lose derby 2-0

Bayer 04 lose 2-0 in the derby at FC Köln. The Werkself had to play with nine men at the end after Aleksandar Dragovic (62', second yellow) and Leon Bailey (77', straight red) were sent off. FC Köln exploited their superiority in numbers with goals from Jhon Cordoba (73') and Sebastiaan Bornauw (84').

Peter Bosz made four changes to the side that started against Juventus: Wendell came in at left-back for Daley Sinkgraven and Julian Baumgartlinger was preferred to Kerem Demirbay in holding midfield. Nadiem Amiri replaced Karim Bellarabi in attack and Kevin Volland returned as central striker in place of Lucas Alario. That meant Kai Havertz was in the starting line-up, as he was against Juventus, and he thereby set a record: The homegrown Werkself player is, at the age of 20 and 186 days, the youngest player in the history of the Bundesliga to clock up 100 appearances. Congratulations, Kai!

For the opposition, the FC Köln coach Markus Gisdol sprang a surprise by fielding the three youngsters Noah Katterbach (18), Ismail Jakobs (20) and Bundesliga debutant Jan Thielmann (17). Thielmann is the first Bundesliga player to have been born in 2002. So there was plenty of interest ahead of the 63rd Rhine derby.

Hard work: Bayer 04 fail to break through

And that was certainly the case after the game started due to the special atmosphere at the Rhein Energie Stadium – and also because the young FC Köln side were first out of the blocks and had the first half chance of the game through Jakobs (5'). It was a question of patience for the Werkself at the start. The Bayer 04 build-up was well structured but there was no way through in the opening stages as the hosts sat back in numbers. The heavy rain in Cologne also played a part in what everybody in Black and Red soon knew: It would be hard work today. The Werkself took up the challenge and Timo Horn was called into action on 21 minutes to deny Moussa Diaby. It was noticeable the three forwards for Leverkusen rotated a lot. Havertz, Amiri and Diaby often switched positions and Lars Bender also provided support up front.

In contrast, FC Köln tended to stand off the ball but were skilful in closing down space for the Werkself, again and again they committed fouls, and they looked to play on the break: A shot from Jonas Hector as he fell went wide of the target (26'), Lukas Hradecky saved an effort from Thielmann (34'). Bayer 04 failed to turn their apparent superiority into goalscoring opportunities and supporters waited in vain in the first half for a dangerous shot on Horn's goal.

Werkself turn up the heat – but Dragovic sees red

That quickly changed after the restart. Bayer 04 were livelier in the second 45 and Amiri soon had a chance but Horn was in the right spot to make the save (48'). Shortly after that, the FC Köln keeper also saved an effort from Havertz (52'). Peter Bosz then brought on fresh legs up front with Bailey replacing Amiri (54') – and his team kept up the pressure. After a great pass from Havertz, Horn just managed to deny Volland a chance to shoot (57').

However, the period of pressure from the Black and Reds saw them suffer a setback: Aleksandar Dragovic, who received a possibly dubious yellow card in the first half, lost out in a challenge with substitute Cordoba and he resorted to a tactical foul. The outcome: A second yellow for the Austrian and Bayer 04 were down to ten men (62'). Peter Bosz had to react to the dismissal and he sacrificed a forward by bringing off Volland to make way for Panagiotis Retsos as a replacement central defender (66').

Bailey also sees red - Köln exploit advantage

The superiority in numbers allowed FC Köln to get right back into the game. Rafael Czichos failed to convert from a corner on 69 minutes but then the hosts took the lead with a counter-attack: A through ball was deflected by Retsos to the feet of Hector who squared to Cordoba. The substitute was unmarked in front of Hradecky and he coolly slotted the ball into the net to make it 1-0 (73').

There was worse to come for the Werkself: In the heated derby atmosphere, Bailey allowed himself to be provoked by Kingsley Ehizibue and he was sent off for striking the defender (77'). With two men sent off, it became a Herculean task for Bayer 04. In contrast, FC Köln used their two-man advantage to score the crucial second goal: Bornauw headed home a cross from a Marcel Risse free kick (84').

A lot of potential frustration for Bayer 04 after the derby defeat. The good news: The Werkself have the chance to make amends with a home game against Hertha Berlin on Wednesday (18.30 CET) – albeit without the suspended Dragovic and Bailey.

Match stats:

FC Köln: Horn - Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach - Skhiri, Hector - Thielmann (Risse 56'; Schaub 87'), Drexler, Jakobs - Modeste (Cordoba 56')

Bayer 04: Hradecky – L. Bender, Dragovic, S. Bender, Wendell – Baumgartlinger, Aránguiz – Havertz, Amiri (Bailey 54'), Diaby (Bellarabi 82') – Volland (Retsos 66')

Goals: 1-0 Cordoba (73’), 2-0 Bornauw (84’)

Booked: Thielmann, Ehizibue - Havertz

Sent off: Dragovic (62’, persistent foul play), Bailey (77’, violent conduct)

Referee: Manuel Gräfe (Berlin)

Attendance: 50,000 (sell-out)




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