Stuttgart 0-2 Bayern Munich: Mandzukic & Muller restore 11-point advantage

Bayern Munich secured a comfortable 2-0 win over 10-men VfB Stuttgart to restore their 11 point gap between themselves and second placed Bayer Leverkusen at the summit of the Bundesliga.

Mario Mandžukić capitalised on a poor Christian Molinaro backpass to round Sven Ulreich to open the scoring on the hour mark, before Thomas Müller doubled the visitors advantage on the 70th minute, with Martin Harnik given his marching orders 10 minutes from time for the hosts.

Bayern dominated possession early on, but took until the 10th minute to muster their first clear cut opportunity after Dante rose highest to head Toni Kroos’ corner over the Stuttgart bar.

Die Bayern continued to press for the opener and again Kroos looked to turn provider from a free kick, but his cross was behind Javi Martinez who struggled to turn his header into the path of Ulreich, before David Alaba smashed his set piece from 30 yards out helplessly over the bar for the Bundesliga pace setters.

The hosts were struggling to contain Bayern, but mustered the best chance of the opening exchanges. Shinji Okazaki was played into the right and drove for goal on the half volley, only to flash his effort just wide of of the far post on the half hour mark.

Stuttgart begun to settle as the half drew on and came close to drawing first blood. Ibrahima Traore was picked out on the left during a swift counter attack from the hosts and managed to pick out Martin Harnik unmarked at the far post. He headed back across goal, but Neuer managed to gather after almost putting the ball into his own net.

Bayern dominated possession still and after Stuttgart failed to clear from a Kroos corner, the ball eventually found its way to Mandžukić. The Croatian controlled well and went for goal with a half volley on the turn, firing over from 15 yards out with 10 minutes of the first half remaining.

Jupp Heynckes’ side continued to control proceedings after the interval and were rewarded five minutes into the second half. Christian Molinaro played a weak back pass to Ulreich, which was capitalised upon by Mandžukić. The Croatia international rounded the Schwaben number one and slotted into an empty net to give Bayern the lead.

The 26-year-old came close to adding a second just after the hour mark after being picked out by a Kroos free kick from the right. He headed downwards towards goal, but Ulreich dove well to turn his effort around the post.

Mandžukić turned provider with 20 minutes remaining after breaking down the right. He waited for the run of Müller in the 18 yard box before he picked out the Germany international, who beat Serdar Tasci to the ball and poke past Ulreich from close range to double Bayern’s advantage.

Stuttgart’s evening went from bad to worse with 10 minutes to go after Harnik was given his marching orders by referee Florian Meyer for a second booking following a late tackle on Franck Ribéry.

Bayern pressed for a third to round off a miserable encounter for the hosts, but were made to settle for the 2-0 win as they secured their 15th win of the season.

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