Steffen Baumgart made four changes to the side that started the game against Hoffenheim last Friday. Luca Kilian, Jonas Hector, Dejan Ljubicic and Ondrej Duda replaced Jorge Meré, Kingsley Ehizibue, Jan Thielmann and Sebastian Andersson.
Gerard Seone opted for three alterations from the 1:1 draw against Real Betis on Thursday evening. Edmond Tapsoba, Amine Adli and Lucas Alario dropped to the bench with Koukakou Kossounou, Florian Wirtz and Patrik Schick starting in their place.
After an even start to the game, Leverkusen were able to build pressure and eventually took the lead in the 15th minute. FC failed to deal with the ball in a dangerous area and Moussa Diaby was able to poke the ball through to Patrik Schick, who got the vital final touch to direct his effort past Timo Horn. Two minutes later, it was Karim Bellarabi who pounced on a defensive failure to double the lead.
After that, aside from when Moussa Diaby struck the crossbar after a clinical counter. Leverkusen always threated but found a more stabile FC backline able to deal with the danger. Anthony Modeste headed wide from a Dejan Ljubicic cross, whilst Jonas Hector had the best opening of all. The FC captain almost flicked Florian Kainz’s cross into the far post with a glancing header.
The opening stages of the second-half brought little in the way of entertainment. Patrik Schick almost played in Florian Wirtz before Dejan Ljubicic fired wide. Not long after Ljubicic’s effort from range, FC were afforded a way back into the game. Jonas Hector crossed to the back post and Anthony Modeste was in the right place at the right time to fire past Lukas Hradecky.
Mark Uth headed over and Ondrej Duda tested Hradecky again, as FC continued to up the pressure. Finally, in the 81st minute, that paid off. Kingsley Schindler’s long throw was met by Sebastian Andersson, with Modeste nodding home to send the stadium wild. Jan Thielmann almost scored a stunning late winner as his effort zipped past the top corner.
A 2:2 draw means FC’s unbeaten home record remained intact. Steffen Baumgart’s side travel to VfB Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal second round on Wednesday evening.
1. FC Köln (4-1-3-2): T. Horn – Schmitz (Schindler 79’), Kilian, Czichos, Hector – Ljubicic – Özcan, Duda (Andersson 77’), Kainz (Thielmann 79’) – Uth, Modeste.
Bayer Leverkusen (4-2-3-1): Hradecky – Frimpong, Kossounou, Tah, Hincapie – Demirbay, Andrich – Bellarabi (Adli 36’), Wirtz (Tapsoba 77’), Diaby (Palacios 77’) – Schick (Alario 87’).
Goals: 0:1, Schick 15’. 0:2, Bellarabi 17’. 1:2, Modeste 64’. 2:2, Modeste 81’.
Referee: Felix Zwayer (Berlin).
Booked: Uth (36’), Demirbay (43’), Diaby (65’), Andrich (89’).
Attendance: 49,600 (sold-out).
€ 79.99 *