Bayern Munich celebrates 115th birthday with 4-1 win over Cologne
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Bayern Munich celebrated its 115th anniversary with a 4-1 victory over Cologne in the Bundesliga on Friday.
Bayern scored twice inside the first 10 minutes but was made to work harder than expected to overcome Cologne, the team with the second best away record after Pep Guardiola's side.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribery scored the early goals, before Anthony Ujah pulled one back for promoted Cologne in first-half stoppage time.
Manuel Neuer had to produce three outstanding saves before Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski secured the victory for the defending champion and runaway leader. Robben notched his league-high 17th goal of the season before setting up Lewandowski.
"It was a funny game," Robben said. "We got off to a great start but they got back into the match and played really well."
"Manuel made some great saves and really brought us victory," Robben said.
Bayern forced four consecutive corners to start the match and Robben's delivery from the last one produced the first goal in the third minute as Schweinsteiger connected with a powerful header.
Ribery cut inside from the left and shot low inside the post to double the lead in the 10th.
Ujah reduced the deficit when he rose to meet a cross from Matthias Lehmann, sending the ball under the crossbar with time running out in the first half. Cologne closed its ranks and defended well, while causing problems for Bayern on the counterattack after the break.
Neuer was forced to dive to turn way shots by Ujah and Marcel Risse early in the second half, then denied Daniel Halfar despite having his view obstructed.
Bayern increased its lead when Ribery broke through on the left and crossed to the far post, where the unmarked Robben scored with a perfectly timed header in the 67th.
Lewandowski completed the victory in the 75th, after more fine work by Robben, whose cross was chested across the line by Lewandowski.
Guardiola's team has now scored 18 goals in its last three games in the Bundesliga.
Bayern, the most successful German club, was founded on Feb. 27, 1900.