1. FC Köln got off to a good start in the new Bundesliga season. The Effzeh won his home game on matchday 1 against Schalke 04 3-1 (0-0).
Luca Kilian (49th), Florian Kainz (62nd), Dejan Ljublicic (80th) scored for Cologne, while substitute Marius Bülter (76th) made it exciting again.
Schalke’s Dominick Drexler saw a red card after a VAR check in the 35th minute for his hard foul play against Jonas Hector.
Before the game it was announced that Cologne striker Anthony Modeste is about to move to Borussia Dortmund. Coach Steffen Baumgart announced before kick-off that he had decided not to let Modeste play.
Florian Dietz made his Bundesliga debut as a substitute for Modeste at 1. FC Köln, while not a single player from the relegation season was in the line-up at Schalke 04.
After the game, Schalke was angry about the referee’s decisions. Here’s the news.
1. FC Cologne – FC Schalke 04: The analysis
Schalke were very high in the first ten minutes, the full-backs moved up and took the space away from 1. FC Köln. In the offensive actions, target player Rodrigo Zalazar was initially sought, who moved well in the spaces and could use his excellent technique for one or the other final action. After the goal was not given, Schalke withdrew more and more – after the red card then completely.
Even without Modeste, Cologne coach Steffen Baumgart relied on a double leadership, with Bundesliga debutant Florian Dietz, an attacker of the same construction acted in the center of the attack, youngster Jan Thielemann played around Dietz. However, the duo initially suffered from the fact that Cologne could not find any solutions in the build-up. It was only when Schalke moved the early pressing backwards that there was room for crosses (especially on the right), which Dietz tried to exploit.
In the second half, Cologne controlled the game because they used the majority cleverly. At the top with up to 74 percent ball possession for the hosts. The central defenders moved up a long way – Shikri dropped back and so you managed to constantly play with the majority. Positive from the point of view of the Cologne team that they had the necessary calm to play the game against ten men.
For Schalke, the game went after the red card – and even Zalazar, who was on his way to becoming the star of the game in the early minutes, then had no access to the game at all and was substituted. The absence of the injured Simon Terodde, who came on shortly before the end and who was always the ultimate offensive solution in the last season, was also clearly noticeable to Schalke. You didn’t have any anyway.
The star of the game: Dejan Ljublicic (1. FC Cologne)
Very striking performance by the Austrian, who caused danger with strong long-range shots in the rather difficult half and very skilfully moderated the Cologne game after the break. Prepared for the 1:0, with the 2:0 also at the beginning of the action. He then made it 3-1 himself.
The flop of the match: Alex Kral (FC Schalke 04)
Schalke’s star purchase shone in the first few minutes with one or the other strong duel, but then went under completely and lost the connection to the game and many duels. He had one of the fewest ball actions.
The referee: Robert Schroeder
Had a decisive influence on the game in the first half in the first half. After the VAR hint, he studied Zalazar’s supposed 1-0 for a long time and then decided that Yoshida blocked goalkeeper Schwäbe’s view. Technically correct. The VAR again drew his attention to the duel between Hector and Drexler. Even when Drexler hits Hector on the calf, there is no sign of intensity or the intention of a malicious start. Hector and Drexler even high-fived after the scene. Very tough decision, which Schalke was right to get upset about. It was correct – albeit again with VAR help – to give the 2-0, because Adamyan, who was initially offside, came to the ball in a new action. Overall also a very petty line.