The short-ish and sweet after 1. FC Köln’s 0-2 victory at Hamburger SV.
What it Means
Without question, getting a pair of goals and all three points in the first match of the Rückrunde is a huge confidence boost for Peter Stöger’s crew.
The 1. FC Köln have now blanked Hamburger SV on the 2014-15 season, but unlike the scoreless draw to open the season, the Billy Goats managed to score themselves. Marcel Risse twice broke free with the ball on the right flank and twice coolly slotted a low shot into the goal, the first between HSV keeper Jaroslav Drobny’s legs.
Overall, Köln played much more strongly in the offensive half than what was typically seen in the Hinrunde, so fans will be happy with that, especially when it produces victory. The problem that remains to be solved is that of collecting three points from home matches. Even so, seeing Risse streak through the HSV defense and finish the way he did today has to make coach Peter Stöger feel good about getting some offense from someone other than striker Anthony Ujah.
Rising – Marcel Risse has shown in the past that he can be an offensive catalyst, but it hasn’t really shown since Köln returned to the top flight. The two goals today both came from Risse taking charge of his opportunities, rather than looking to create for a teammate. He displayed an assassin’s touch on both goals, making it a wonder he ever bothers to surrender possession when his team is on the counter. A strong Marcel Risse bodes well for increased offensive production for the Effzeh.
Rising – Timo Horn probably already had rising stock due to having extended his contract in Köln at a time it was reported he was on the wish lists of bigger clubs both in Germany and in England. Yet, when Horn came up with a huge save of a headed chance early, he kept the match scoreless and gave his team the opportunity to surge and overtake their hosts.
Falling – Slawomir Peszko came out of the winter training camp and test matches as the big winner of the break and found himself in Stöger’s starting eleven. Though Peszko did not have a poor match, overall, his failure in a few crucial moments to pay dividend nearly had him as the goat for Köln. He also received a needless early yellow card. Credit for being in position to have chances, but he’s going to need to do better with the ball in front of the goal if he wants to keep his place.
Same Squad, Different Look
The Köln squad had a very familiar look, as the ten players other than Peszko are the top ten in the team in minutes played this season. Stöger may be tinkering a bit with formations and strategies, but he seems to be willing to trust the players with whom he’s most comfortable to be flexible enough to do whatever job he needs of them.
Of course, with the transfer window still slightly open and sporting director Jörg Schmadtke having been thwarted thus far on a few potential deals, there is still a chance Stöger will be given a bit of added flexibility in his options.
You cannot deny the man who bagged his first Bundesliga brace, can you?
The speedy Köln-born flanker was somewhat hamstrung by playing a bit more centrally for most of the match, but when the opportunity to bolt forth with the ball, the Gangster of Kalk didn’t hesitate to take the action straight toward the HSV goal and deliver the goods on his own.
The Billy Goats will hope to double their total of wins at home when they host VfB Stuttgart Wednesday night at Müngersdorf. Yuya Osako and Anthony Ujah each got a goal in Köln’s 0:2 win in the Hinspiel.