FC Bayern beat FC Köln 4-1 on Sunday afternoon, retaining their lead in the Bundesliga table. Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry handed Bayern a comfortable three-goal lead early in the game. Gnabry rounded off his brace midway through the second half before Mark Uth scored a consolation goal for the Rhineland outfit.
The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Benjamin Pavard, Jérôme Boateng, David Alaba and Alphonso Davies in a back four. Joshua Kimmich and Thiago featured in a twin holding role behind Gnabry, Thomas Müller and Coman, with hitman Lewandowski up front. Lucas Hernández, Corentin Tolisso and Leon Goretzka took over from Boateng, Kimmich and Coman in the second half.
Three goals, twice the woodwork
The 50,000 full house in Cologne saw Bayern hit the ground running, and Lewandowski rewarded their dominance after only two minutes, Müller's pass prising Köln's defence apart before the striker crashed home. Bayern doubled the advantage when another Müller pass invited Coman to find the net from 15 yards, the Frenchman crowning his comeback as a starter after 67 days. Kimmich drew a fine save from netminder Timo Horn, but Gnabry all but settled the matter when he curled into the low corner of the net following a corner.
Munich engaged cruise control now but still had a number of chances against the reeling Billy Goats, Thiago firing just wide, Gnabry hitting the bar from a tight angle before Horn deflected a Kimmich effort onto the post. Gnabry and Coman fired over the bar, and match official Felix Zwayer blew for half-time.
More balanced second half
Köln coped much better after the break and soon had the ball in the back of the net, but Jhon Córdoba's goal was cancelled for an offside position. Gnabry fired wide at the other end before Córdoba had another goal ruled out for offside. Horn saved a deflected Gnabry effort before Neuer beat Uth to a through-ball.
Gnabry rounded off his brace when he crowned a fine solo run with a curler into the far corner. Uth saw an effort saved but soon scored a consolation goal for the home side, tapping home following a Florian Kainz square. Gnabry fired wide before Neuer made a strong save against Córdoba. Neuer denied two Anthony Modeste efforts in the closing stages, and Zwayer blew for full-time.
The result takes Bayern onto 46 points from 22 matches, one clear of RB Leipzig, who beat Bremen on Saturday. The Bavarians will be back in action on Friday, when they entertain Paderborn in the Bundesliga.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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1. FC Köln
Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach (Kainz 28) – Skhiri, Hector – Drexler, Uth, Jakobs (Schmitz 72) – Córdoba (Modeste 81)
Krahl – Höger, Terodde, Rexhbecaj, Thielmann, Leistner
Neuer – Pavard, Boateng (Hernández 46), Alaba, Davies – Kimmich (Tolisso 59), Thiago – Coman (Goretzka 79), Müller, Gnabry – Lewandowski
Ulreich – Odriozola, Coutinho, Cuisance, Zirkzee
Felix Zwayer (Berlin)
0-1 Lewandowski (3), 0-2 Coman (5), 0-3 Gnabry (12), 0-4 Gnabry (66), 1-4 Uth (70)
Bornauw / Boateng, Thiago, Pavard