Cologne won at home for only the second time this season on Sunday as the Frankfurt defense served up a series of second-half gifts for their rivals, to delight another 50,000 crowd at the RheinEnergieStadion.
Cologne 4-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
(Deyverson 28', Risse 72', Osako 79', Ujah 82' - Meier 58', pen., 91')
A first home win since October and the goal count almost doubled: Cologne coach Peter Stöger might have been forgiven for savoring his side's routing of Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
Second half goals from Marcel Risse, Yuya Osako and Anthony Ujah sealed the three points which moved the Billy Goats up two places in the table to 11th, while Alex Meier's first-half equalizer and late penalty proved little more than consolations for Frankfurt, who remained firmly in mid-table.
Stöger, however, remained measured in his assessment of the win.
"Even after the victory, it is not more or less pressure," he told the SID news agency. "Here in Cologne, you know what to expect. If you want to stay here, then you have to handle this pressure situation. The win today was no act of defiance; it was a response to what we discussed in the week."
Deyverson does the business
After a quiet opening to the match, Cologne reverted to route one on 27 minutes, with a long punt forward from goalkeeper Timo Horn creating uncertainty in the Frankfurt defense. Brazilian striker Deyverson out-muscled Marco Russ before latching on to the bouncing ball and lifting a shot over the onrushing Kevin Trapp for 1-0, with Horn claiming the assist from the opposite end of the pitch.
Cologne striking the first blow justified Stöger's decision to replace Osako in the starting line-up with Deyverson, who had netted a consolation in the midweek German Cup defeat to Freiburg. And the rarity of a home goal – only Cologne's sixth all season – lifted the mood inside the sold-out RheinEnergieStadion.
After that it was all Cologne until half-time. On 32 minutes Polish midfielder Slawomir Peszko took a lobbed ball from Marcel Risse on his chest and struck a first-time volley which swerved narrowly wide. And when Anthony Ujah was played in on 42 minutes he tried to carbon copy the Deyverson finish, only for Trapp to stay big and block his shot.
Frankfurt set up camp in the Cologne half at the start of the second period, and Meier found the net for the 17th time this season after starting and finishing a flowing move on 57 minutes. In model center-forward play, he laid off a pass with his back to goal before the ball was moved out wide to on-loan Chelsea striker Lucas Piazon, who centered for Meier to stab home at the second attempt.
Ujah blazed over for Cologne on 59 minutes with only Trapp in front of him, before the returning Haris Seferovic was denied by a last-ditch cover tackle from Dominic Maroh at the other end.
Risse leads rout
Risse restored Cologne's advantage in the 72nd minute when his rasping drive from 20 meters beat Trapp at the near post, after neat work and a pass across the box from Kevin Vogt.
Yuya Osako then stepped off the bench to prove his point with a cool finish on 78 minutes after Ujah had robbed Carlos Zambrano 30 metres from goal.
Ujah scored one for himself three minutes later when shooting low under Trapp after the Frankfurt defense had again surrendered possession in their own third. The Nigerian ran straight towards the club's Billy Goat mascot and appeared to pull the animal by the horns towards the pitch in celebration.
Frankfurt netted nothing more than a late consolation when Meier converted a 92nd minute penalty after Cologne's Austrian defender Kevin Wimmer was shown the red card by referee Knut Kircher for a foul on Seferovic.
After scoring both goals in Frankfurt's home win over Hamburg, Meier appears to have rediscovered the scoring touch which made him the Bundesliga's hottest property before the winter break.
On Sunday night he was again sitting at the top of the scoring charts above Arjen Robben of Bayern, but not for the first time this season the 4,700 travelling fans of Frankfurt were left applauding their talismanic frontman, while lamenting the back five lined up behind him. With 49 goals conceded, they drew level with Bremen for the Bundesliga's leakiest defense.