Mandzukic sees Bayern to victory
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.
Bayer Leverkusen kept up their pursuit of Bayern but their 3-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt was marred by crowd trouble.
Visiting fans lit flares and fireworks after 15 minutes to prompt an unscheduled break in the game, as the players were taken off the pitch. Leverkusen returned to the field to provide pyrotechnics of their own with goals from Sebastian Boenisch and Stefan Kiessling.
Andre Schurrle made it 3-0 in the 58th minute before Alexander Meier grabbed a late consolation for Armin Veh's men, who remain fourth in the table.
Third-spotted Borussia Dortmund enjoyed a thumping 5-0 win at Werder Bremen to ensure the champions finished the day still 12 points behind Bayern.
Marco Reus and Mario Gotze set the visitors on their way with goals inside 20 minutes, with Felipe Santana putting the result beyond doubt three minutes into the second half. Further strikes in the final 10 minutes from Robert Lewandowski and substitutes Jakub Blaszczykowski sealed the rout.
Nuri Sahin came on as a late substitute to make his first appearance for Dortmund since rejoining them on loan from Real Madrid.
Hoffenheim's new coach, Marco Kurz, was able to end a six-game losing streak but could only celebrate a point in a goalless stalemate with Borussia Monchengladbach.
Kurz, who took charge of the beleaguered Bundesliga side during the winter break, set his side up with caution in mind, and although they created few goalscoring openings, they conceded even fewer chances. Gladbach, for their part, looked equally happy to come away with a point, which leaves them in eighth.
Dieter Hecking enjoyed a winning start to life as Wolfsburg coach as his side completed the double over Stuttgart with a 2-0 win at the VW-Arena.
Diego and Alexander Madlung scored the goals, both in the second half, as the Wolves moved clear of the bottom three in the Bundesliga and to within three points of their opponents.
Mainz and Freiburg both stayed in contention for European football next season after playing out a 0-0 stalemate at the Coface Arena.
The game came to life late on when Mainz went closest to breaking the deadlock, but they were also forced to end the game with 10 men after Shawn Parker picked up a second yellow card late on.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report