It didn’t take long for the table-toppers to get the ball rolling either, as the ‘Billy Goats’ might have expected, when Thomas Müller found Robert Lewandowski unmarked in the box. With time and space, the prolific marksman slotted Bayern ahead inside the first 10 minutes. Not content to rest on their laurels, the ‘Bavarians’ doubled their lead with a goal-of-the-season contender. Deputising in the unfamiliar territory of left-back, Marcel Sabitzer fizzed a raking long-ball to Corentin Tolisso who played a flashy one-two with Müller. Bouncing up invitingly on the edge of the box, the Frenchman then hammered the ball into the top corner to leave the smattering of fans inside the RheinEnergieStadion stunned.
While Bayern were clinical, an open contest meant Cologne made opportunities of their own, and it looked as though they had pulled one back when a couple of incisive passes sent Mark Uth through on goal. His finish was smart, but VAR eventually noticed he had darted forward too soon and was therefore in an offside position.
After the break, Uth again came close to reigniting the contest, although this time his glancing header required no scrutiny as it flashed wide of the post. In devastating fashion, the visitors immediately punished the near-miss. Fresh off the bench, Leroy Sané found Lewandowski who made his finish look frighteningly simple. Timo Hübers then rattled the crossbar for Cologne, who were once again frustrated at their inability to find the net, before Sané and Lewandowski linked up again to seal the Pole’s hat-trick for his latest Bundesliga landmark.
It was always going to be a tough assignment for Cologne, who have not won a competitive tie against Bayern since 2011. They may have hoped for a better display, however, against Julian Nagelsmann’s side, who have now won nine matches in a row against the hosts, a run made even sweeter by their renewed buffer at the top of the table.
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