Mandzukic double boosts Bayern
Last Updated: 19/01/13 5:41pm
Mario Mandzukic scored two goals for Bayern
Bayern Munich made a winning start to 2013 to maintain a nine-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-0 victory over Bavarian rivals Greuther Furth.
Two goals from Mario Mandzukic were enough for the record champions to see off the challenge of the league's bottom club in the first of coach Jupp Heynckes' final 17 games in charge before making way for Pep Guardiola next season.
Furth put up a brave fight to keep the result respectable, but there was never any doubt that Bayern would take the points at the Allianz Arena.
Mandzukic kept his place in the Bayern attack, despite the return of Mario Gomez from injury toward the end of last year, and it proved a wise selection by Heynckes.
The Croatian's goals had dried up since Gomez returned to fitness, but the winter break seemed to have revitalised him.
He opened the scoring in the 26th minute after going close on several occasions.
Thomas Muller's volleyed cross picked out the Bayern striker and his shot from just over 10 yards out beat Wolfgang Hesl in the Furth goal.
Mandzukic wasted an opportunity to double Bayern's advantage 10 minutes before the break when he missed the target, but he regained his accuracy on the hour mark to give Bayern a bit of breathing space.
Toni Kroos' free-kick was met by the head of Mandzukic, who nodded the ball into the bottom corner.
Bayern did not really need to break a sweat in the freezing conditions as they controlled their lead to pick up the win and continue their march toward the title.