17th matchday: Kimmich saves Bayern: Later Munich point against Cologne

An artful shot by Joshua Kimmich saved FC Bayern's series champions from a massive false start in 2023.

17th matchday: Kimmich saves Bayern: Later Munich point against Cologne

An artful shot by Joshua Kimmich saved FC Bayern's series champions from a massive false start in 2023. Four days after the 1-1 draw in Leipzig, the international saved the Munich side with his goal in the 90th minute to make it 1-1 (0-1) against the passionate 1. FC Köln.

Buoyed by the 7-1 win over Werder Bremen, the courageous Cologne side could hope for the next big win after Ellyes Skhiri's early goal (4th minute) before Bayern finally struck. Nevertheless, the Rhinelanders breathed new excitement into the Bundesliga title fight. Half-time champion FC Bayern is three weeks before the big round of 16 duel with Paris Saint-Germain and world champion Lionel Messi far from Champions League form.

While Yann Sommer in front of 75,000 spectators in the Allianz Arena could not celebrate a win as a Bayern goalkeeper in the second game, FC keeper Marvin Schwäbe guaranteed Cologne a point with several saves. In the 80th minute, he made a spectacular save when Thomas Müller, who came on late again, headed the ball.

Summer debut at home

Before kick-off, the photographers' lenses focused on ex-world champion Müller, who had to sit on the Munich bench again. Meanwhile, newcomer Sommer played his first game as Bayern goalkeeper in the Allianz Arena. Before the Swiss could excel, he had to get the ball out of the net.

Bayern defended very weakly from a Cologne corner. Skhiri, doubtful due to a foot injury, pushed the ball freely over the goal line from close range. Steffen Baumgart's team quickly embarrassed Munich with the momentum of the thrashing of Bremen. The high willingness to run and early attacks from Cologne did not please the record champions at all.

Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann had claimed despite the 1-1 damper at RB Leipzig for the restart after the World Cup break: "Our self-confidence has not decreased." But it took a while before Serge Gnabry brought danger in front of the guests' goal for the first time (14th).

Gnabry causes a stir

The international had caused a stir and discussions before the game with a trip to Paris on the catwalk of a fashion fair. "It is important that the correct answer is always on the pitch," Nagelsmann commented. Gnabry's unfortunate and erratic appearance was definitely not what the trainer meant. At the break it was over for Gnabry.

But his colleagues also lacked ideas and precision on the offensive, despite their usual possession of the ball. In defense, the hosts were sometimes shaky. Sommer even saved Munich from the 0:2 when he cleared with one hand in front of Skhiri, who was ready to score (29th). Because Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (43rd) and Benjamin Pavard (44th) also failed on the other side, Cologne remained a narrow lead at the break.

After a short speech in the dressing room, Nagelsmann sent two new players onto the field in Kingsley Coman and Ryan Gravenberch. Gnabry and the ailing Leon Goretzka had to give way. Bayern became a little more determined, Cologne goalkeeper Schwäbe was able to distinguish himself several times. Coman in particular brought a little more speed and freshness to Munich's mostly unimaginative game.

Young star Jamal Musiala, who was exchanged for Müller due to acute ineffectiveness, is still in the World Cup hole. It didn't get any better for Bayern. The league leaders usually acted surprisingly erratic and uninspired near the goal. An act of violence by Kimmich had to be used to prevent the first home bankruptcy in more than a year.

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