Christian Streich opted for two alterations from the side that beat Hoffenheim 3:1 last time out. Lukas Kübler and Roland Sallai came into the side for the injured Jonathan Schmid and Chang-Hoon Kwon.
Markus Gisdol made four changes from the team that fell to defeat against FC Augsburg. Benno Schmitz, Jonas Hector, Ismail Jakobs and Anthony Modeste replaced Rafael Czichos, Noah Katterbach, Elvis Rexhbecaj and Jan Thielmann.
The opening stages of the game saw both sides work their way into it slowly, with little in the way of chances in the opening 10 minutes. The first effort on goal came from the hosts, though Ermedin Demirovic’s header was easily dealt with by Timo Horn. The in-form Bosnian under-21 international did get his goal after 18 minutes, pouncing onto a Roland Sallai ball to head home.
Freiburg were pushing for a second and went close as Sebastiaan Bornauw got in the way of a powerful Lukas Kübler effort. The hosts continued to move forward and, aside from a Marius Wolf shot, Florian Müller had very little to do in the opening half. Things got worse seven minutes before the break, as Salih Özcan was dispossessed and Niclas Höfler converted while through on goal.
Markus Gisdol made a double substitution at half-time, as Elvis Rexhbecaj and Jan Thielmann replaced Salih Özcan and Ondrej Duda. Jannes Horn also came on for Jorge Meré soon after. FC went close early on through Marius Wolf, who brought a strong save from Florian Müller. Freiburg responded and increased their lead, as Sallai pounced to nick home at the near post.
Freiburg added another 10 minutes later, as no-one picked up Demirovic at the back post and he headed to the unmarked Philipp Lienhart. The Austrian was able to head in to compound matters. Christian Günter picked out Lucas Höler in the middle with 80 minutes played to score Freiburg’s fifth. FC’s next game sees them take on Hertha BSC at the RheinEnergieSTADION next Saturday with kick-off at 15:30 CET.
SC Freiburg (3-4-3): Müller – Lienhart, Schlotterbeck, Gulde (Heintz 80‘) – Kübler (Tempelmann 75‘), Santamaria, Höfler, Günter – Sallai (Höler 66‘), Demirovic (Petersen 75‘), Grifo (Jeong 75‘).
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): T. Horn – Schmitz, Meré (J. Horn 56‘), Bornauw, Hector – Özcan (Rexhbecaj 46’), Skhiri – Wolf, Duda (Thielmann 46‘), Jakobs (Czichos 82‘) – Modeste (Arokodare 70‘).
Goals: 1:0, Demirovic 18’. 2:0, Höfler 38’. 3:0, Sallai 59’. 4:0, Lienhart 69’. 5:0, Höler 80’.
Referee: Robert Schröder (Hannover).