Bayern made to fight for a draw with spirited Köln
By Ultan Corcoran @UltanCorcoran
Ellyes Skhiri's first-half goal was eventually cancelled out by a wonderful strike by Joshua Kimmich at the death as the sides shared the spoils. Bayern registered 25 shots on goal as they pushed hard for the win but were ultimately denied by an in-form Marvin Schwabe and Köln defence.
|Joshua Kimmich.||Photo: Werner100359, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Although Bayern confidence started to grow, Köln still threatened on the counter. A flowing move before the half hour make released Kainz who looked for Skhiri. Fortunately for Bayern, Yann Sommer was alive to the danger and was able to cut the ball out. Bayern looked to get back on level terms just before the interval. A Kimmich corner found Pavard at the back post. While scenes of his famous goal for France vs Argentina in 2018 raced through everyone's mind, he was expertly denied by Schwäbe. It was a truly incredible save by the 27-year-old who managed to pull the save off through a sea of crowded bodies.
An uncharacteristic two-man substitution preceded the half time break for Bayern – Gnabry and Goretzka called ashore for Coman and Gravenberch. The latter came agonisingly close to finding the back of Schwäbe’s net from 20-yards when his shot curled past the post. A signal of intent from the league leaders. Similarly, Steffen Baumgart made two alterations of his own - Ljubicic and Martel entered the fray, while Kingsley Schindler did likewise ten minutes later. As the clock ticked towards 70 minutes, Musiala was withdrawn for the experienced Thomas Müller. At this stage Bayern were still looking surprisingly toothless in attack – most of their efforts on goal blocked by a spirited Köln rear-guard.
Müller drew another fine save out of Schwäbe on 80 minutes – the former German international’s looped header was pushed over the bar by the Köln shot stopper. Bayern huffed and puffed as it looked like Köln would come away with a memorable win until Bayern skipper Joshua Kimmich had other plans. A 90th minute thunderbolt from all of 30 metres dipped and swirled in off Schwäbe’s crossbar who had kept Bayern at bay so admirably all night. An incredible game ended 1-1 apiece with what was probably a fair result despite Bayern’s domination since falling behind early on.