League leaders Bayern Munich needed an entire hour, but finally found the net against a defensive Cologne. The Billy Goats, bottom of the table, were resolute but unable to capitalize on the odd chance up front.
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Cologne coach Stefan Ruthenbeck: "A deserved win for Bayern, but there was the odd situation where, if we'd found a better solution, we could have made it tough for them."
And Bayern's Thomas Müller is next on Sky's mic: "With the exception of the last few minutes, Cologne restricted their game to defending. ... Once we led 1-0 you could tell the boys were thinking that there are still two more games to play [before the winter break], and then we didn't quite put in 100 percent. At that point, we did let the ball do the work and try to bring the game home."
Cologne keeper Timo Horn, speaking to Sky Sports Germany: "The team really gave everything tonight but, as so often this season, it wasn't enough in the end." He reflected how with better luck, as in the previous season, Klünter might have scored his chance and Cologne might have scraped a valuable point.
90+1' — FULL TIME. Bayern Munich deservedly win 1-0 against their highly defensive guests from Cologne. Lewandowski missed a few, but found the target after an hour to seal the three points. Thomas Müller served as locksmith on the night, it was his intelligent movement that helped unpick Cologne's defensive lines at crucial times.
88' — If ever a losing team probably deserved something from a game, it's Cologne. Not that Bayern weren't good value for the win, but this has been an impressive, disciplined showing from a side so recently relieved of its head coach. What's proven impossible, however, is switching the focus to attack since Lewandowski broke the ice.
85' — Top save Timo Horn. James Rodriguez was looking for the far corner, Horn palmed it away at full stretch.
84' — An attacking Cologne sub: Matthias Lehmann makes way for Christian Clemens.
83' — Bayern continue to press without making real inroads. Kimmich seems to be enjoying his late-game substitute cameo as a right-winger. He's looking for the ball plenty, and just tried and failed to feed Lewandowski with an audacious back-heel.
76' — Subs: Joshua Kimmich on for Ribery for Bayern. For Cologne, Filip Kusic replaces Jannes Horn.
74' — An update from around the other Bundesliga grounds, with a quarter of an hour to play in the penultimate round of league games before the new year:
Hertha 2-1 Hannover
Schalke 2-1 Augsburg
Leverkusen 1-0 Bremen
70' — Timo Horn parries a fierce long range drive, it looked like Süle pulling the trigger. The game has something of a training ground feel now. Cologne are sticking to their defensive game plan (or perhaps Bayern are forcing them to by refusing to concede possession), while Bayern are just sharing the ball about looking for openings.
66' — Kingsley Coman nearly makes it two. He heads a back-post cross down into the ground with such force that it bounces back up onto Timo Horn's crossbar and stays out.
64' — Looks like Lewandowski fancies the dead ball. He does, but he can only clatter it into the wall.
64' — Free kick for Bayern in shooting range.
60' — GOAL! Robert Lewandowski breaks the deadlock. Another diagonal run from Müller catches Cologne cold. Jerome Boateng floats it over the defensive lines, Müller is able to nod the ball back towards Lewandowski, who made no mistake this time from close in. Bayern lead at last — and Cologne will need to change shape and mentality if they're in the market for an equalizer.
58' — Rafinha, Müller and Lewandowski combine to carve out a chance, but the Polish striker's shot from range sails over the bar.
51' — Big miss from Lewandowski. He arrived at the near post to meet Thomas Müller's cross, and couldn't keep it down. That could have been the breakthrough.
46' — Immediately a chance for Cologne to break away. But Lukas Klünter, better known as a right-back than in his role tonight as lone striker, wasn't able to get moving towards goal quickly enough. Bayern's defense caught up with him, and reclaimed possession.
46' — Second half begins.
Two half time subs for Bayern. Kingsley Coman replaces Tolisso, James Rodriguez is on for Vidal.
HT analysis: Bayern Munich have more than four-fifths of possession in this one, but are struggling to penetrate their visitors, who are parking the proverbial bus. Thomas Müller has had the two better chances of the half, by timing his runs to get in behind Cologne's defense. Maintaining this kind of effort and discipline for another 45 minutes could prove a real challenge for the Billy Goats. Still, they have largely reduced Jupp Heynckes' crew to meaningless probing 35 yards from goal. Fans of lateral passing should be sure to tune in for the second half.
45' — First half to conclude with a Cologne corner, their first of the 10 in this match so far. It breaks down for an offensive foul in the box — and that's the half.
39' — Bayern free kick. Crossed in from the left but doesn't connect with an attacker.
38' — Side netting from Thomas Müller, fed by Niklas Süle. Müller's diagonal runs into the box have now cut open Cologne's resolute two lines of four on two occasions.
36' — Arturo Vidal fires just wide with his weaker left. Cologne in full siege mode at the back, but can they maintain this for another hour or so?
32' — Bayern's stats are pretty impressive despite the lack of real penetration. They've had 9 shots to Cologne's 3, 8 corners to Cologne's 0, 13 crosses to Cologne's 1, and more than 80 percent of the ball. But it's all sideways passing with 10 Cologne outfielders behind the ball. Pass percentage is also enlightening: Bayern at 95 percent, Cologne at 65 percent.
29' — We owe Jojic an apology. Replays show his shot just now took a big deflection off David Alaba; that's why it went so high. The officials missed it too; a goal kick was rather than a corner.
27' — Chance for Cologne! Milos Jojic pulls the trigger from range as Alaba backs off. The former Dortmund man got right under the ball though, well above the bar.
23' — Fighting the urge to switch channels and watch the "Konferenz" of all the Bundesliga action this evening, instead of focusing on Heynckes' crew, who look ready for their winter holidays. Goals for Hertha Berlin (against Hannover) and Bayer Leverkusen (home to Bremen) already, while Augsburg are holding Schalke at 0-0 in Gelsenkirchen.
22' — Corner for Bayern as Rafinha's weak cross is cleared. Rudy to whip it in... But the ball clears everybody in the box and Alaba picks it up on the far side. As you were, gents...
20' — Chatter before kick off in the DW offices revolved around the possibility of this game getting ugly. Numbers like "six or seven" were being bandied about. For those prophecies to come even half-way true, Bayern will need to wake up. If anything, Cologne have been more purposeful since Müller's near-miss.
13' — CHANCE! Ribery with a peach of a pass to find Thomas Müller in the box. Time Horn did very well to get down and block it at his near post.
10' — Alaba did go for goal, but his shot clattered of Jojic in the wall and went out for a corner. From that set piece, the blue-gray-haired Robert Lewandowski (who let him loose with the dye?) fired over the bar from the near post.
10' — Free kick Bayern. Sebastian Rudy and David Alaba hover over it. Long range for a shot...
6' — A calm start to proceedings in Munich. Bayern have had a little more of the ball, and Arturo Vidal just tried to connect with a speculative cross from the right, but no real early chances to take the lead.
1' — Kick off! Bayern are all in red at home, while Cologne sport their blinding grey and fluorescent yellow get-up.
Here's our live ticker for Bayern's Wednesday Bundesliga match against FC Cologne in Munich.