Down to 10 men within 33 minutes, the Bavarians managed to break through their visitors' tight defence in the second half and earn three pointsFranck Ribery was sent off, but that did not stop Bayern Munich from earning a 3-0 victory over Koln in its final Bundesliga match of the calendar year.
The French winger was booked for an altercation with Henrique Sereno on 33 minutes, but moments later had a go at the defender for a second time, leaving referee Guido Winkmann with no choice but to send him off.
After a scoreless first half, the hosts caught a break as a defensive error allowed Mario Gomez to find the net on 48 minutes. Substitute David Alaba made it 2-0 a quarter hour later, and Toni Kroos made it 3-0 late as the hosts cruised to an ultimately comfortable victory.
Ribery was involved in the Bavarians' best chances of the first half, having a long drive parried on 10 minutes shortly before Mario Gomez headed his cross narrowly wide. After the winger's expulsion, Koln, who used a five-man defense, continued to win little of the ball but came under very minimal pressure as they dug deep.
Things changed moments into the second half as Bayern, despite its numerical disadvantage, appeared much more dangerous. Thomas Muller squandered a chance to volley in the opener, but atoned for his mistake as he received Anatoliy Tymoshchuk's through-ball, held off defender Ammar Jemal, and squared for Gomez, who made it 1-0.
The visitors were the architects of their own demise for the first goal, as Pedro Geromel needlessly conceded possession in the lead-up to Gomez's strike, and surely enough, they could only blame themselves for the second goal. On 63 minutes, a corner managed to evade half a dozen players before bouncing off the chest of Alaba, who quickly reacted to volley home from inside the six-yard box.
The game effectively ended as a contest after Alaba's goal, as Lukas Podolski was replaced and all the urgency was gone. On 88 minutes, Kroos capped off a fine performance late as, after Olic appeared to be fouled, Alaba quickly recovered possession and squared towards his team-mate, who turned and chipped in his first goal of the Bundesliga season.
The result confirms Bayern's spot atop the Bundesliga table at midseason, with 37 points from 17 games. Koln remains 10th, but could be overcome by Hertha Berlin, Hamburg, and Mainz before the week-end is over.
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