In a huge win in front of their raucous hometown fans, 1. FC Köln made mincemeat out of a shockingly harmless Eintracht Frankfurt side.
Frankfurt’s talisman Kolo Muani looked threatening inside the opening 10 minutes. Several glimpses of his pace and strength showing signs of intent. Meanwhile Kainz was getting plenty of room to work in down the left flank. There was a moment of worry for Köln when VAR stopped play to look for a handball by Martel in the box. Referee Daniel Siebert even looked at the VAR pitch side monitor but waved away the decision in the end. Muani had another great chance to score on 25 minutes until Benno Schmitz last ditch intervention put the ball behind for a corner.
The first-half as a whole was played at a ferocious pace throughout. Both Köln and Frankfurt sought to soak up opposition attacks and break on the counter. Once or twice Maina and Kainz had their crosses snuffed out, while at the other end ‘Die Adler’ playmaker Lindstrøm came within a pass of unlocking the cathedral city side’s rear guard. In three minutes of added time before the break Evan Ndicka came close with a glancing header, so too did Hector latching onto a Kainz freekick. However, it remained deadlocked at the interval.
If the first 45 minutes lacked goals, Köln made up for that within four minutes of the restart. Linton Maina worked a short corner to Kainz on the left wing. The Austrian whipped a ball in the direction of Trapp’s goal where Hübers arrived late to head into the bottom left corner for 1-0. ‘Die Geißböcke’ gaffer Steffen Baumgart visibly delighted as he performed a touchline jig in celebration. Just after the 60-minute mark and Philipp Max picked out a superb pass to find Kamada. Fortunately for the hosts, Jeff Chabot was in the right place to intervene. Köln looked more and more impenetrable as the game wore on.
Köln doubled their lead in spectacular fashion on 71 minutes. Linton Maina did expertly to suck in the Frankfurt defenders who were scrambling back to defend their own goal. A perfectly weighted pass found Huseinbašić, whose initial shot was saved by Trapp, but the rebound fell to Skhiri who made no mistake. Marvin Schwäbe was called upon to keep Frankfurt out on 74 minutes and did well to keep out a powerful Max strike. Ellyes Skhiri bagged his second of the night on 86 minutes which made it 3-0. Ndicka’s clearance fell to the Tunisian who smashed home on the half volley with the aid of a Tuta deflection. A true carnival atmosphere in Köln as the final whistle sounded in the RhineEnergie Stadion.