This is how the relegation battle really becomes a snail's race: 1. FC Köln and FSV Mainz 05 ended the 14th matchday of the Bundesliga with a zero number in the constant rain, which doesn't help anyone.
Both could point to improved statistics: Mainz only lost one of five games under new coach Jan Siewert, FC has the same record in the same period. However, both of them only won one game and are not really getting anywhere.
Two match days before the winter break, Cologne occupied the relegation spot with ten points, while Mainz were one point behind in the first direct relegation spot. FC coach Steffen Baumgart had recently described the fight against the crash as a “snail race”. Before the winter break, Cologne now has two difficult away games in Freiburg and at Union Berlin. Mainz first welcomes promoted team Heidenheim and then has to go to runner-up Dortmund.
“That was really tough stuff,” Baumgart admitted: “Football aesthetes aren’t getting their money’s worth at the moment. It sounds stupid, but we kept a clean sheet for the second time and took the point. But of course we wanted a lot more."
Burkardt is back in the Mainz starting line-up after 392 days
For both of them, the table situation had become even more difficult following the results of the competition at the weekend. A small glimmer of hope for the Rheinhessen was the starting eleven comeback of striker Jonathan Burkardt, who was back in the starting eleven after recovering from a knee injury and after 392 days. And less than four minutes had been played before the 23-year-old should have given the guests the lead. He was allowed to receive the ball in peace about twelve meters in the middle of the goal, but Rasmus Carstensen successfully threw himself into his shot.
In general, Mainz was the much more active and dangerous team in the first half. 8:3 shots on goal and 6:0 corners for Mainz spoke a clear language at the break. A header from the eager Brajan Gruda from a tight angle was well saved by Marvin Schwäbe, who represented Florian Kainz as FC captain, who was on the bench for the first time this season (25th).
Cologne's Chabot has to leave the field after 34 minutes
Cologne revealed major deficits, especially in the build-up of the game, and rarely even got into the dangerous areas. And therefore not to standards, through which they had previously scored six out of ten goals this season. 05 keeper Daniel Batz only had to intervene with moderately dangerous long-range shots from Luca Waldschmidt (14th) and Eric Martel (45th). It was also bitter for FC that Jeff Chabot, who was strong this season, had to leave the field after just 34 minutes. According to Baumgart, the central defender “actually signed off” that morning because of a stomach flu. He then tried everything and made himself available. At the time of substitution, “he was dizzy, he was just through it.”
After the break, the game seemed to take the same course again: Mainz played forward and had a decent opportunity with a shot from Ludovic Ajorque (48th). FC was a little better in the game after that, even if only slightly. Then, of all times, Burkardt scored (60th), his substitution was already indicated, but he was offside. The first significant FC chance was missed by Florian Dietz, who had just been substituted, and missed from ten meters in his first appearance in the professional team in almost 14 months (66th). Jan Thielmann had the best chance in the 81st minute. Significant for the game: An unsuccessful cross from Cologne landed on the inside post.