German Bundesliga review

Leverkusen open gap, Cologne hit back

January 24, 2010

Undefeated Bayer Leverkusen opened up a two-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga on Sunday as Toni Kroos scored one goal and set up the others in their 3-0 win at Hoffenheim.

Arturo Vidal and Tranquillo Barnetta
GettyImagesArturo Vidal and Tranquillo Barnetta celebrate.

• Saturday's round-up

Defender Sami Hyppia grabbed the lead on 11 minutes, connecting with a deep Kroos free kick at the far post before the midfielder turned scorer six minutes after the restart with a shot inside the box.

The gifted playmaker, on loan from Bayern Munich, set up the third in the 71st, cutting a pass into the middle of the box for Swiss international Tranquillo Barnetta to seal their third straight win and put Leverkusen back on top on 41 points.

Visitors Cologne dragged themselves away from the relegation zone with a fighting 3-2 victory over champions VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday which leaves the future of Wolfsburg coach Armin Veh in doubt.

Cologne, in 13th place on 21 points, watched Wolfsburg twice come back from a goal down before Adil Chihi secured their victory with a close-range effort in the 74th minute.

Kevin Pezzoni gave Cologne an early lead when he sneaked in at the near post to head in a Chihi corner. Wolfsburg, desperate for their first victory since early November, levelled with midfielder Christian Gentner's rebound in the 22nd minute.

The visitors regained the lead against the run of play with a solo run from Sebastian Freis in the 57th minute.

Two minutes later Wolfsburg levelled again with Ricardo Costa firing in from close range before Moroccan Chihi grabbed the winner with a shot inside the box.