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First draw of term

Unlucky Reds held by stubborn Köln

Luckless Bayern hit the bar and post no fewer than three times on Saturday as the men in red dropped Bundesliga points for the first time this season in a 1-1 draw with FC Köln, the side lying third in the table before kick-off. Carlo Ancelotti’s reshuffled team dominated the play from the off but it took until the 40th minute before Joshua Kimmich netted the overdue opener. Anthony Modeste levelled against the run of play after 63 minutes and despite their unceasing efforts there was to be no late winner for Manuel Neuer and Co this time.

The result means leaders FCB have 16 points from six matches, three clear of Hertha and four more than Dortmund, at least until Borussia’s meeting with Leverkusen in the evening. Bayern’s annual team visit to the Oktoberfest is on Sunday, before the league enters a two-week international break. The Bavarians are next in action away to Eintracht Frankfurt on 15 October.

Seven new faces

In the build-up to the Köln clash, FCB boss Carlo Ancelotti promised he would rotate his squad, and the Italian was as good as his word with no fewer than seven changes compared to the Champions League tie on Wednesday. Survivors Manuel Neuer, Javi Martinez, Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski were joined in the starting line-up by new faces Mats Hummels, Rafinha, Juan Bernat, Kimmich, Renato Sanches, Kingsley Coman and Arjen Robben.

After referee Daniel Siebert whistled play underway in front of the customary 75,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena, the home team went straight onto the front foot and Köln keeper Timo Horn made an early save from Bernat. Robben posed an immediate threat and frequently ran at the Billy Goats' defence, eventually laying off for Bernat, whose second wffort of the afternoon sailed wide.

Robben, Lewandowski and Rafinha all came close in the first 20 minutes, but the visitors finally made an impression midway through the first period when Yuya Osako warmed Neuer’s gloves. It remained basically one-way traffic with Hummels heading past the post from a corner and Alonso firing wide of the target.

Deadlock broken

The Köln rearguard still held firm until Kimmich finally broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time with a clever diving header from Bernat’s centre after the Spaniard outfoxed right-back Marcel Risse down the left flank.

With Thomas Müller on for Robben at half-time the Bavarians focused on maintaining control of the match, with the Germany striker shooting wide and Martinez heading against the post, albeit from an offside position. But suddenly and out of the blue there was a shock just after the hour when Modeste escaped his marker and guided a Risse cross past Neuer from close range.

That sparked the visitors into action and FCB had to withstand a spell of intense pressure, Ancelotti sending on Arturo Vidal and David Alaba for Coman and Sanches. But the Reds fought back and a combination of Horn and the post kept out Müller’s 77th-minute effort. Ancelotti’s side camped out in their opponents’ half for the last ten minutes but Bernat’s drive smacked against the upright. By the end FCB were fortunate that sub Simon Zoller’s stoppage-time effort on the break slid wide of the far stick as the game finished 1-1.

Live match report for fcbayern.com  by Chris Hamley

 

FC Bayern - FC Köln 1-1 (H-T: 1-0)
 
FC Bayern

Neuer - Rafinha, Martínez, Hummels, Bernat - Kimmich, Alonso, Sanches (Alaba 71) – Robben (Müller 46), Lewandowski, Coman (Vidal 71)

Subs Ulreich - Boateng, Lahm, Green
1. FC Köln

Horn - Sörensen, Mavraj, Heintz, Hector - Risse, Höger (Özcan 62), Lehmann, Rausch (Zoller 62)  - Modeste, Osako

Subs

S. Müller, Mladenovic, Olkowski, Jojic, Rudnevs

Referee Daniel Siebert (Berlin)
Attendance 75,000 (capacity)
Goals 1-0 Kimmich (40), 1-1 Modeste (63)
Yellow cards

Martinez / Zoller