Champions Bayern battle back to avoid upset

A second-half fightback from champions-elect FC Bayern München saw them come from a goal down to beat 1. FC Köln 3-1 at the RheinEnergieStadion on Saturday afternoon.

FC Köln 1 Bayern 3
Horn makes three saves from Lewandowski
Sule (30′) turns in Clemens’ cross
James (59′) taps home Muller’s header
Lewandowski (61′) finally beats Horn
Tolisso (78′) completes comeback

Match Summary

Jupp Heynckes’ side weren’t on the ball in the first half and they were made to pay when Niklas Sule diverted Christian Clemens’ cross into his own net on 30 minutes.

But Bayern stepped up their game in the second half and James restored parity 14 minutes after the restart, before Robert Lewandowski and Corentin Tolisso secured victory.

Full Report

The champions survived three early scares after a bright start from Stefan Ruthenbeck’s men on home soil, with Sven Ulreich fortunate to see an unmarked Simon Terodde shoot straight at him just three minutes in.

Bayern created their first chance three minutes later when Thomas Muller mistimed his volley from Javi Martinez’s floated cross, but the hosts were soon knocking on the door again.

Terodde directed a header wide of the target on 10 minutes after getting on the end of a fine cross from Marcel Risse, before Simon Zoller curled an effort just beyond the far post two minutes later following a superb through-ball from Dominique Heintz.

Timo Horn made a routine save from Niklas Sule’s header in the 14th minute, while a counter from the Billy Goats resulted in Risse fizzing a strike over the crossbar midway through the first half.

Horn was called into action again moments later when he kept out Lewandowski at point-blank range from a corner, and it proved crucial as the basement club took the lead on the half-hour mark.

Clemens did well to win the ball back on the right before delivering a cross for Zoller, who only got a touch on it and Sule inadvertently put past his own keeper.

Horn was on hand to deny Lewandowski once more three minutes before half-time when the striker met James’ cross with a diving header inside the six-yard box.

nKöln had put in a good shift in the opening 45 minutes, but they failed to replicate it in the second half as the Bavarian giants took command.

Horn had to be alert to prevent Lewandowski from equalising at close range on 56 minutes, making a stop with his legs. However, the home keeper was eventually beaten three minutes later as James poked home from close range after being teed up by Muller’s header back across goal.

Muller had a hand in the Reds’ second goal as well, which was scored by Lewandowski on 61 minutes after the German forward held the ball up and spotted his run into the area.

The Billy Goats suffered another setback 12 minutes later when Ruthenbeck was sent to the stands for protesting the referee’s decision not to award his team a penalty for an apparent foul on Terodde from Sule.

Tolisso completed the comeback on 78 minutes after the home defence failed to clear their lines, with the midfielder nodding home James’ cross.