Friedhelm Funkel made three changes from the side that started the defeat to Bayer Leverkusen. Elvis Rexhbecaj, Ondrej Duda and Dominick Drexler moved into the line-up in place of Max Meyer, Florian Kainz and Emmanuel Dennis.
Julian Nagelsmann opted for five alterations after the 0:0 draw against Hoffenheim on Friday evening. Willi Orban, Ibrahima Konaté, Marcel Sabitzer, Angelino and Dani Olmo were replaced by Lukas Klostermann, Marcel Halstenberg, Kevin Kampl, Amadou Haidara and Alexander Sörloth.
Leipzig started the game strongly and had two good chances within the opening minutes of the match. Alexander Sörloth’s early effort was well-blocked by Sebastiaan Bornauw, before Amadou Haidara fired wide from 10 yards out after the Norwegian’s clever cut-back. Despite the good opening period from the visitors, they were unable to trouble Timo Horn in goal.
FC’s only meaningful move forward in the first-half was through Jonas Hector. A quick counter saw the FC captain burst forward but after going past two defenders, his shot was held by Peter Gulacsi. Leipzig continued to cause problems but were still failing to find the target. Nordi Mukiele and Christopher Nkunku both had great opportunities to open the scoring but fired wide and over.
Sörloth had another chance to finally break the deadlock late on in the first-half, although Timo Horn was up to the task and managed to punch clear his header from 10 yards.
The start to the second-half was the direct opposite to the first period. Marius Wolf laid the ball into the path of Jannes Horn on the left-hand side. He was afforded space and time to pick out Jonas Hector with a superb cross to the back post, and he headed home from close range past Peter Gulacsi on his 270th appearance for FC.
However, the joy would be short lived. Marcel Halstenberg picked out Haidara on the edge of the box and he made up for his first-half miss with a stunning drive from 20 yards. Despite the goal for Leipzig, FC responded within 60 seconds. A quick throw-in for Kingsley Ehizibue saw Jonas Hector flick for Ondrej Duda. He produced a stunning back-heel, and Hector powered home from 12 yards.
The remaining half hour was a real battle. Leipzig controlled the game but couldn’t find a way through. Timo Horn denied Angelino brilliantly with his foot, before Justin Kluivert headed inches over. Kluivert went closer still as he cracked the frame of the goal with the last meaningful moment of the game. FC are next in action against FC Augsburg on Friday evening at 20:30 CEST.
1. FC Köln (4-3-3): T. Horn – Ehizibue (Schmitz 75‘), Bornauw, Czichos, J. Horn – Rexhbecaj, Skhiri, Hector (Özcan 90+2‘) – Wolf (Kainz 66‘), Duda, Drexler (Meyer 90+2‘).
Leipzig (3-4-2-1): Gulacsi – Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg (Kluivert 66‘) – Mukiele (Hwang 77‘), Kampl, Adams (Angelino 61‘), Haidara – Forsberg (Olmo 61‘), Nkunku – Sörloth.
Goals: 1:0, Hector 46’. 1:1, Haidara 59’. 2:1, Hector 60’.
Referee: Frank Willenborg (Osnabrück).
Booked: Ehizibue (23‘), Upamecano (56’), Kampl (83’), Angelino (89’), Funkel (90+2’), Haidara (90+5’), Czichos (90+6’).
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