Professionals | 17/08/2022

2:2 draw

Spoils shared in Leipzig

1. FC Köln and Leipzig evenly shared four goals at the Zentralstadion on Saturday afternoon. Leipzig went ahead twice through Timo Werner and Christopher Nkunku but FC fought back through Florian Dietz and an own-goal from Josko Gvardiol.

Team news

Domenico Tedesco opted for three alterations following the 1:1 draw to kick-start the new season in Stuttgart. Lukas Klostermann, Kevin Kampl and André Silva were replaced by Mohamed Simakan, Dominik Szoboszlai and Timo Werner.

Steffen Baumgart made three changes to the team that started the opening day win against FC Schalke 04. Kingsley Ehizibue, Timo Hübers and Eric Martel replaced Benno Schmitz, Jeff Chabot and Kingsley Schindler.

Level at the break

The game began at a high tempo and there would be no let up throughout the 90 minutes. FC had the first opening of the match through Jan Thielmann, as his flicked effort at the near post was parried by Peter Gulacsi. Leipzig responded in kind as Dani Olmo looked to have curled the hosts into the lead. However, after a VAR check, the goal was chalked off due to a David Raum handball in the build-up.

Leipzig had the ball in the back of the net again only for the offside flag to be raised as Christopher Nkunku rounded Marvin Schwäbe. In the meantime, Florian Dietz was looking lively for FC. He was a whisker away from connecting with a Florian Kainz cross before Mohamed Simakan blocked his half-volley from 10 yards.

The end of the first-half provided plenty of talking points. Timo Werner took aim from range and a seemingly harmless effort squeamed under Marvin Schwäbe, as a rare mistake from the FC ‘keeper gave Leipzig the lead. FC were able to fire back almost immediately. A superb counter involving Dejan Ljubibic and Florian Kainz saw the latter square for Florian Dietz to hammer home his first FC goal.

There would be more late drama to come as Dominik Szoboszlai was given his marching orders just before the break. After being fouled by Florian Kainz, he flung his arm backwards and caught Kainz in the face. Benjamin Brand had no hesitation in producing the red card.

Exciting until the end

The second-half began with two changes for Leipzig. Josko Gvardiol and Kevin Kampl replaced Marc Halstenberg and Hugo Novoa. After Kingsley Ehizibue almost got on the end of a Jonas Hector cross, the hosts went ahead moments later. Dani Olmo’s pass was perfectly waited for Christopher Nkunku, who left Marvin Schwäbe with no chance thanks to a fine finish from 10 yards.

FC were still putting Tedesco’s team under pressure and were especially active down the left. Florian Kainz, who was putting in a superb performance, crossed to namesake Dietz but was unable to get any power behind his header. However, just two minutes later, FC got their second. Kainz’s corner was fliclked on by Mohamed Simakan at the front post and fumbled over the line by Gvardiol.

The latter stages saw both sides go in search of a winning goal. Leipzig were dangerous with Olmo, Nkunku and substitute André Silva. FC continued to work the left-hand side but failed to create a chance of note in the final knockings. A fair result for both teams after an entertaining 90 minutes.

Steffen Baumgart’s charges are next in action against Fehérvár FC on Thursday evening at the RheinEnergieSTADION in the UEFA Europa Conference League Play-offs. Kick-off is at 20:30 CEST. 

Line-ups

Leipzig (3-4-1-2): Gulacsi – Simakan, Orban, Halstenberg (Gvardiol 46‘) – Novoa (Kampl 46‘), Henrichs, Szoboszlai, Raum – Olmo (Haidara 87‘) – Nkunku, Werner (André Silva 67‘).

1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): Schwäbe – Ehizibue (Schmitz 62‘), Kilian, Hübers, Hector – Martel (Duda 62‘), Skhiri – Thielmann (Maina 62‘), Ljubicic (Adamyan 73‘), Kainz – Dietz (Lemperle 73‘).

Goals: 1:0, Werner 36’. 1:1, Dietz 40’. 2:1, Nkunku 56‘. 2:2, Gvardiol (OG) 72‘.

Referee: Benjamin Brand (Unterspiesheim).

Booked: Thielmann (18’), Hübers (48’), Adamyan (76’), Kainz (79’), Henrichs (89’).

Sent-off: Szoboszlai (45+2’).

Attendance: 43,579.

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