Captain Joshua Kimmich and his colleagues in Munich applauded the Bayern fans in the stands, but the marksman didn’t seem happy. With his dream goal in the 90th minute, the international had saved the series champion from a massive false start in 2023. Four days after the 1-1 draw in Leipzig, Kimmich’s long-range goal saved a 1-1 (0-1) home game against the passionate 1. FC Köln on Tuesday. Buoyed by the 7-1 win against Werder Bremen, the Cologne side could hope for the next big win for a long time after Ellyes Skhiri’s early goal (4th minute) before Bayern finally struck.
Nevertheless, the Rhinelanders breathed new excitement into the Bundesliga title fight. Half-time champion FC Bayern is three weeks before the big round of 16 duel with Paris Saint-Germain and world champion Lionel Messi far from Champions League form.
While Yann Sommer in front of 75,000 spectators in the Munich Arena could not celebrate a win in the second game as a Bayern goalkeeper, FC keeper Marvin Schwäbe guaranteed Cologne a point with several saves. In the 80th minute he made a spectacular save when Thomas Müller, who came on late again, headed the ball. “It’s annoying because of the timing, but basically it’s fine. We’re going home happy with the point,” said FC coach Steffen Baumgart.
It’s annoying because of the timing, but we go home happy with the point.
Cologne coach Steffen Baumgart
Before kick-off, the photographers’ lenses focused on ex-world champion Müller, who had to sit on the Munich bench again. New signing Sommer, meanwhile, had to get the ball out of the net in his first home game as Bayern goalkeeper before he could distinguish himself.
Bayern defended very weakly from a Cologne corner. Skhiri, doubtful due to a foot injury, pushed the ball freely over the goal line from close range. With the momentum of the rout against Bremen, Baumgart’s team quickly embarrassed Munich. The high willingness to run and early attacks from Cologne did not please the record champions at all.
Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann, despite the 1-1 damper at RB Leipzig after the World Cup break, still maintained: “Our self-confidence has not decreased.” But it took a while before Serge Gnabry first threatened the guests’ goal brought (14th).
The international had caused a stir and discussions before the game with a trip to Paris on the catwalk of a fashion fair. “It is important that the correct answer is always on the pitch,” Nagelsmann commented. Gnabry’s unfortunate and erratic appearance was definitely not what the coach meant. At the break it was over for Gnabry.
In defense, Bayern were sometimes shaky
But his colleagues also lacked ideas and precision on the offensive, despite their usual possession of the ball. In defense, the hosts were sometimes shaky. Sommer even saved Munich from the 0:2 when he cleared with one hand in front of Skhiri, who was ready to score (29th).
After a short speech in the dressing room, Nagelsmann sent two new players onto the field in Kingsley Coman and Ryan Gravenberch. Gnabry and the ailing Leon Goretzka had to give way. Bayern became a little more determined, Cologne goalkeeper Schwäbe was able to distinguish himself several times. Coman in particular brought a little more speed and freshness to Munich’s mostly unimaginative game.
Young star Jamal Musiala, who was exchanged for Müller due to acute ineffectiveness, is still in the World Cup hole. It didn’t get any better for Bayern. The league leaders mostly acted surprisingly erratic and uninspired near the goal. An act of violence by Kimmich had to be used to prevent the first home bankruptcy in more than a year. (dpa)
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