Lots of money in the bank, but little quality on the offensive: After star striker Randal Kolo Muani left the team without style, Eintracht Frankfurt only averted their first defeat of the season in the Bundesliga with difficulty.

Without the Frenchman, who switched to Paris Saint-Germain for 95 million euros, the Hessians couldn’t get past a 1-1 (0-1) draw against 1. FC Köln on Sunday. New signing Niels Nkounkou saved Eintracht at least a point with his goal in the 87th minute. Florian Kainz (43rd) put the still winless Cologne team in front of 54,000 spectators with a penalty kick.

Cologne earned the draw with a lot of struggle and passion. The Hessians, on the other hand, were clearly shown that the offensive without Kolo Muani and Daichi Kamada and Jesper Lindström, who had already left, would not meet higher standards again.

Frankfurt’s sports director Markus Krösche described the agreement with the French record champions as “no alternative” late on Friday evening, since the reintegration of the 24-year-old attacker after his training strike would have been “very, very difficult”. “Sometimes you have to decide: not, you find the smallest possible denominator, but you prevent the greatest possible damage,” said Krösche before the kick-off on the DAZN streaming service.

The fans clearly expressed their opinion of the change posse. “Kohle Muani – Money doesn’t change character, it only makes it visible,” read a banner. Krösche did not want to comment on the unpleasant circumstances surrounding the transfer.

The Hessians dominated the game for long stretches even without Kolo Muani. Despite clear field advantages, there were hardly any chances because the attacking power was lacking. Omar Marmoush could not replace the runner-up on an equal footing and had to vacate his place in the center of attack for Jessic Ngankam midway through the second half.

Junior Dinah Ebimbe was the only danger in the first half, but he lacked the necessary precision three times at the end. Cologne cleverly narrowed the spaces in front of their own penalty area and started tentative offensive actions towards the end of the first half, one of which led to success. Eric Martel was knocked off his feet by Philipp Max in the Eintracht penalty area, and Kainz coldly converted the penalty that was due.

After the change, Frankfurt pushed for an equaliser, but with a bit of luck Cologne survived the pressure phase unscathed. As the season progressed, the hosts could think of less and less in front of the opposing goal, so that FC were already dreaming of their first win of the season. But then Nkounkou hit the corner with a well-placed low shot just before the end and saved his team from the impending bankruptcy.