Hamburger SV 0-2 FC Köln: Risse runs riot as Billy Goats get perfect start
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Two almost identical goals from Marcel Risse in the second half secured the points for Peter Stöger's side. Josef Zinnbauer had three strikers on the pitch at the end but it wasn't enough as they begin the Rückrunde with a defeat.

The hosts welcomed back a fan favourite in Ivica Olić yesterday after he signed from VfL Wolfsburg for only €1.5 million. It seemed he was making way for André Schürrle to arrive from Chelsea but the former Leverkusen was named in Chelsea’s squad to face Manchester City throwing a potential spanner into the works.

This is of course the first weekend of the Rückrunde and both sides will be hoping they can be more consistent in the second half of the season. Hamburg’s defence has improved since last season, so far they’ve conceded 19 goals and by this stage last season that tally was 38. They also recorded famous victories against Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen but have lost to relegation rivals like VfB Stuttgart.

Köln are only two points better off than their opponents and their problems are much the same. They have a decent defence and the second best away record in the league behind only Bayern. They’ve beaten FC Schalke and Dortmund and recorded a stunning 4-3 victory away to 1899 Hoffenheim but have also lost at home to SC Freiburg who are currently bottom of the league. For both teams scoring is a serious problem, Köln are joint second lowest scorers with 17 but far in front are HSV who have scored the grand total of 9 goals in 17 games.

This is in spite of spending €8.5 million on Pierre-Michel Lasogga so clearly offensive reinforcements were needed so Olić was brought in, he scored 28 goals in 78 games in his first spell at HSV. The Croatian started the game meaning Lasogga dropped to the bench. The reverse fixture at the start of this season ended in a 0-0 with both keepers, Timo Horn and Rene Adler, making multiple saves.

HSV dominated the early stages of the game and came close to taking the lead on multiple occasions. The fist chance fell to Olić as received the ball inside the box before hitting the side netting with his shot. Only 4 minutes later he nearly scored after Nicolai Müller’s cross from the right hand side seemed destined for his head before Dominik Maroh got a vital touch to it.

Set piece specialist Rafael van der Vaart curled in a ball from the left hand side and Heiko Westermann rose to meet it and direct it towards goal only for Timo Horn to pull off a great save. Van der Vaart was then booked along with Slawomir Peszko for their reaction to Van der Vaart’s foul on the Polish winger.

Olić had yet another opportunity five minutes later, again from a Müller cross but this time the ball took a bobble before he hit and as a result he scooped it well over to the frustration of the fans who couldn’t wait to see their hero score again. Köln’s first chance came only minutes later as Pawel Olkowski superb ball found Anthony Ujah in the box and the Nigerian brought it down with his chest before straight at Drobny on the half volley.

They could’ve had another opportunity to take the lead soon after but Peszko’s control let him down inside the box after he beat the offside trap and it went out for a goal kick. Just beside the HSV dugout sat the forlorn figure of Lewis Holtby who suffered a broken collarbone in the winter break just after making his loan move to HSV permanent.

After Peszko’s poor control both sides were unable to threaten with the only half chance falling to Ujah on the edge of the box but his shot was blocked to bring the half to a disappointing end. Free kicks were clearly something worked on by Josef Zinnbauer’s side as they looked threatening in the first half and they nearly created a goal from a well-worked one at the very start of the second. Van der Vaart lifted the ball to Westermann who headed down to Ashton Götz who couldn’t quite get his foot over the ball and fired over.

Köln looked repeatedly dangerous on the counter attack and in the 58th minute they had their best chance of the game so far when Drobny parried the initial shot into the path of Peszko but the 29-year old fired straight into the body of Drobny who was on the floor. They had to wait another ten minutes to take the lead. It came thanks to yet another counter attack as Peszko brought the ball into the HSV half. Slobodan Rajković brought him down just as he released the ball into the path of Marcel Risse allowing the referee to play advantage. The former Mainz man drove down the far side of the pitch before finishing through Drobny’s legs.

Changes were needed for Zinnbauer’s side and he brought off Petr Jiraček for Pierre-Michel Lasogga before Maximillian Beister was on for Mohamed Gouaida meaning HSV had three strikers on the pitch. It didn’t make much difference as almost immediately after Beister was brought on Risse was again sent down the far side and scored an almost identical goal, this time putting the ball to the right of Drobny but still finding the back of the net.

The second goal well and truly killed off any HSV resistance and they nearly made it 3-0 at the death when Daniel Halfar was played the ball across the goal but slipped when attempting to hit and sent it wide to bring the game to an amusing end.