Hapless Cologne, missing Polish forward
Slawomir Peszko after an alcohol-fuelled row with a taxi driver,
sank deeper into relegation trouble when they were thrashed 4-0
by Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga on Tuesday.
The contest was over before half-time as Eugen Polanski,
Mohamed Zidan and Nicolai Muller scored in an 18-minute spell
in the first half, condemning Cologne to their fourth defeat in
five games during which they have conceded 17 goals.
Adam Szalai added the fourth while Cologne forward Lukas
Podolski was hit in the face by a small object thrown from the
crowd in the first half. He was not hurt and continued playing.
Hertha Berlin also took a step closer to the second division
as they lost 2-1 at home to Freiburg with Roman Hubnik scoring
at both ends and Augsburg were beaten 3-1 at home by VfB
Hertha defender Hubnik turned Garra Dembele's shot into his
own net after seven minutes and the Malian also set up
Freiburg's second for Sebastian Freis after the hour.
Hubnik then headed one back for Hertha who lost for the
fifth time in eight outings since 73-year-old Otto Rehhagel took
over as coach.
Angola striker Nando Rafael gave Augsburg an early lead from
a penalty but it was then all downhill for the promoted side as
Serdar Tasci, Martin Harnik and Vedad Ibisevic replied for
Borussia Monchengladbach, who are fourth which would earn
them a place in the Champions League qualifying round next
season, had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Werder Bremen despite
playing with a man extra for over an hour.
Markus Rosenberg gave Bremen an 18th-minute lead but they
had Sebastian Boenisch sent off for a professional foul nine
Mike Hanke scored twice after the break to put Gladbach
ahead but Brazilian defender Naldo headed Bremen's equaliser in
the 74th minute.
Augsburg are 15th in the 18-team table with 30 points from
30 games, one place and one point above Cologne in the
relegation play-off spot. Hertha are 17th with 27 points.
Although Peszko has publicly apologised after Saturday
night's incident, in which he was widely reported to have become
he become drunk and quarreled with a taxi driver who took him to
a police station, he was left out of the Cologne team.
Coach Stale Solbakken also omitted Milivoje Novakovic, one
of four players left behind when Cologne went to a two-day
training camp last week.
"We played reasonably well until we conceded the first
goal," said Cologne goalkeeeper Michael Rensing. "Then we
suffered four goals again. That for me is inexplicable."
The three-times German champions were quickly in more
trouble as Adam Szalai's theatrical fall earned Mainz a penalty
which was converted by Peszko's fellow Pole Eugen Polanski in
the 18th minute.
Mainz made the most of their luck with two superbly made
Egypt forward Mohamed Zidan drilled the ball emphatically
home in the 32nd minute after Muller teed up his shot,
then Muller himself got on the end of Eric Maxim
Choupo-Moting's measured pass to add a third five minutes later.
Muller was again involved in the fourth goal in the 52nd
minute as he threaded the ball to Elkin Soto on the left and the
Colombian sent an inviting ball across the face of goal for
Szalai to rifle in the fourth.
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