It was a special night for Köln as they celebrated the clubs 68th birthday and it couldn’t of gone any better as their victory against Eintracht Frankfurt gives them a reason to celebrate long into the night.
Köln went into the game in tenth place, which are largely due to the amount of draws they seem to get, the only team that has more draws than tonight’s home team are Hoffenheim. On their birthday they were looking to get back to winning ways after just one win in their last eight Bundesliga matches.
The guests to Köln’s birthday party were Eintracht Frankfurt, who have really struggled this season and found themselves going into the game in fifteenth place. The club have only managed two wins in their last ten matches, both coming both sides of the winter break and Frankfurt have failed to build on their impressive win over Wolfsburg with a draw and a defeat in the last couple of weeks.
The game started as an even battle between the two sides, the closest the game came to an early goal was from the away side. Just after the ten minute mark a corner was meet by the head of David Abraham, who directed the effort just over the crossbar.
Köln were forced into an early change as Simon Zoller pulled up holding his hamstring, Matthias Lehmann was brought on and this allowed Yannick Gerhardt to push forward. This almost paid off instantly as the youngster broke into the area before dragging his shot across goal and just wide.
Frankfurt almost took the lead on the twenty minute mark, the chance came from another corner and it was Szabolcs Huszti that produced a great header on target, unfortunately for the Hungarian his effort was meet with a very good save from Timo Horn.
Shortly after that chance the ball found the back of the Köln net, the home side failed to clear and this allowed Huszti to pick up the ball just outside the area, then he was able to pick out Alexander Meier six yards out and the forward fired past Horn.
The response from Köln was almost instant, across into the Frankfurt box was defended poorly and this allowed Anthony Modeste to turn and play the ball through to Gerhardt. The midfielder showed great calmness to slot the ball past Lucas Hradecky.
The equaliser restored the battle between the two and the remaining minutes of the half show both sides battle hard to come out on top, something that both sides failed to do with them being evenly matched and the amount of freekicks that were being awarded.
The second half took some time to get going and it certainly got interesting when Makoto Hasebe committed a foul on Leo Bittencourt, this was his third foul and was correctly given a yellow. Angered by this Hasebe seemed like a ticking time bomb and moments later he could’ve seen red after a poor tackle on Mërgim Mavraj.
A couple of moments later Köln took advantage of another freekick out wide, Filip Mladenović delivered an excellent cross into the area and this saw Dominique Heintz leap the highest to powerfully head back across goal and into the corner.
Just after the hour mark Köln should’ve been two goals clear, Mladenović fired in a cross from the left to pick out the free Lehmann. However the midfielder somehow struck the crossbar from a couple of yards out and with a wide open goal.
The home side were playing with plenty of confidence after taking the lead and they were starting to dominate. Köln missed a glorious chance just before the game entered the last twenty minutes, Gerhardt slipped the ball through to Jonas Hector and the midfielder couldn’t put his effort past Hradecky.
With seventy-two minutes on the clock Köln finally made it 3-1 thanks to a lovely counter attack. Bittencourt came inside before playing a brilliant pass through to Gerhardt, the youngster remained clam in front of goal and passed the ball across to Modeste to fire home his tenth goal of the season.
Frankfurt tried to get back into the match, however they continued to fall at the last hurdle as Köln remained strong at the back and even more threatening with their counter attacks.
Köln celebrated their birthday in style and that victory sees them move up to ninth and the win comes just in time as they take the short trip to face their rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach next weekend. For Frankfurt it’s another loss and with Werder Bremen breathing down their necks they’ll have to brush themselves off for the visit of Hamburg on Friday night.