No team has ever been relegated from the Bundesliga with 40 points, and a brace from Modeste has secured Bundesliga status for Köln next season after VfB Stuttgart’s defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
The Frenchman opened up the scoring after just three minutes with a deft-finish inside of the left post before an error at the back led to a Jérôme Gondorf equaliser.
Modeste’s 14th Bundesliga goal of the season regained Köln’s lead ten minutes before the break before Risse confirmed the three points in front of the standing supporters with an outrageous goal.
Whether the German meant it or not makes for another debate.
Risse then added Köln's fourth and just his third Bundesliga goal of the season in the closing stages which saw the Billy Goats climb to ninth in the Bundesliga.
Intense start from Köln and Darmstadt
Frederik Sørensen and Yuya Osako both returned to the starting line-up for Köln after their win in Mainz, whilst Dirk Schuster welcomed back Júnior Díaz in place of Peter Niemeyer.
As always, the Südtribune in Köln created the atmosphere as Darmstadt threatened Timo Horn’s goal in the opening minute of play with two successive corners – the latter cleared by German international Jonas Hector.
Darmstadt might have started well, but it was last week’s hero against 1. FSV Mainz 05 that opened the scoring for Köln after just three minutes. Yannick Gerhardt’s through ball found Modeste who, prior to last week, was short of confidence – placed the ball past Christian Mathenia.
Osako almost doubled Köln’s lead just moments later before Modeste rounded Mathenia only for Darmstadt’s Luca Caldirola to clear the ball off the line after just seven minutes.
For all their attacking intent, the tide turned when Gondorf equalised for Darmstadt – who are statistically the fourth best away Bundesliga side.
The 27-year-old couldn’t believe his luck when Filip Mladenovic failed to clear the ball, which resulted in Gondorf firing the ball across Horn and into the bottom corner of the net in front of the Südtribune.
Mladenovic had the chance to make up for his earlier mistake, but the Serbian saw his header saved with ease by Mathenia. Konstantin Rausch then drilled his shot just wide as Darmstadt went in search for their second, but it was Köln who took advantage.
A long ball from Sørensen found Modeste who took the ball under his control, before rolling the ball past Mathenia. The former-Hoffenheim forward then had the chance for a first-half hat-trick, and with the easiest opportunity of all – Modeste missed the target from five yards with just the ‘keeper to beat.
Köln in control
Peter Stöger replaced Mladenovic with Heintz for the second-half which saw Köln switch to their 3-5-2 formation.
Risse scored Köln’s third goal just seven minutes after the restart with a looping cross-cum-shot that Mathenia ought to have been disappointed with. The Darmstadt ‘keeper felt he was impeded by Modeste which put Mathenia off; but the referee allowed the goal to stand.
Darmstadt hit the post on two occasions within short succession of each other through captain Aytaç Sulu. The 30-year-old found himself unmarked at the far post following a corner, but the defender could only find the post.
Caldirola came close to scoring just his second ever Bundesliga goal as Darmstadt went pushing for a goal, but the former-Inter Milan defender could only blaze his effort over the crossbar with 20 minutes remaining.
Risse put the game to bed with his second of the afternoon 15 minutes from time with a finish across Mathenia.
Sandro Wagner's withdrawal summed up Darmstadt's performance as the German forward was unable to get a sniff at Horn's goal all afternoon.