BERLIN, Germany, Feb 25 – Ademola Lookman created a goal but RB Leipzig squandered the chance to go second in the Bundesliga on Sunday after crashing to a 2-1 defeat at home to bottom side Cologne.
Lookman, an England Under-21 winger on loan from Everton, shone during his 59 minutes, hitting the post in the move that led to the opening goal on five minutes at Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena.
When Portugal international Bruma crossed to the far post, Lookman, 20, nudged the ball onto the woodwork and French striker Jean-Kevin Augustin tapped home the rebound.
Having scored on his Bundesliga debut three weeks ago, Lookman played well before being replaced by Danish forward Yussuf Poulsen for the last half hour.
With Lookman on the Leipzig bench, Cologne roared back with two goals in the final 20 minutes.
“If you play like we did in the second half then you don’t deserve to take a point,” moaned Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer.
Vincent Koziello, Cologne’s new signing from French league side Nice in January, smashed home a left-footed shot on 70 minutes to claim his first Bundesliga goal.
Then substitute midfielder Leonardo Bittencourt, who has just recovered from a groin injury, fired home at the back post seven minutes later.
The defeat leaves Leipzig sixth while Cologne remain eight points from safety with 10 games left.
“In the Bundesliga, you can’t just play well for 45 minutes,” fumed Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl.
“You can’t play football much better than we did in the first half, but after the break, it was as if the plug had been pulled — there was nothing left.”
– Bentaleb’s sweet return –
Earlier, Schalke climbed from sixth to third as Nabil Bentaleb scored on his comeback to seal their 2-0 victory at 10-man Bayer Leverkusen.
It was a sweet return for the ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, who was dropped from Schalke’s squad a fortnight ago and told to improve his attitude.
Bentaleb’s penalty just before the final whistle capped a deserved win for Schalke who had taken the lead with just 11 minutes gone in Leverkusen.
Guido Burgstaller flicked the ball over a defender and fired into the bottom left corner of the net from 15 yards.
“We said clearly that we want to perform well and we succeeded in doing that,” said Schalke’s director of sport Christian Heidel.
However, Heidel revealed win was overshadowed by injuries to two Schalke fans, one of whom fell down stairs and is “in critical condition”, after suffering a head trauma.
Schalke will be without Burgstaller for their next league game at Hertha Berlin after he picked up a first-half booking — his fifth yellow card of the season.
Leverkusen had defensive midfielder Dominik Kohr sent off for a second yellow card after 38 minutes.
Schalke poured forward and sealed the win thanks to a Leverkusen mistake.
Teenage Greece defender Panagiotis Retsos sent Swiss striker Breel Embolo tumbling in the area and when referee Daniel Siebert pointed to the spot, Bentaleb, a second-half replacement, drilled home the penalty on 89 minutes.
“We played very well and created a lot of chances in the first half,” said Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco.
“We counter attacked well after the break and I am happy to go home with the three points.”
Schalke are level with second-placed Borussia Dortmund on 40 points — a massive 20 behind runaway league leaders Bayern Munich.
The Bavarian giants were held to a goalless draw at home to Hertha Berlin on Saturday, the first time they had failed to score a league goal at the Allianz Arena since May 2015.
Despite outshooting Hertha 19-5 — Bayern could not break through, which cost them two possible records.
Top-scorer Robert Lewandowski, who had 10 shots on goal, missed the out-right record of scoring in 12 consecutive home league games.
Jupp Heynckes also missed the chance to become the first Bayern coach to claim 15 straight wins in all competitions.