Faltering Bayern win on Hitzfeld's return
BERLIN, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Ottmar Hitzfeld marked the home debut of his second spell in charge of faltering Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich with a comfortable 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday.
Bayern, who remain in fourth on 37 points, 11 behind leaders Schalke 04, took the lead through Roy Makaay in the eighth minute after Bielefeld defender Heiko Westermann failed to clear Lucio's long ball.
The Dutch striker stole in, rounded goalkeeper Mathias Hain and sidefooted the ball into the empty net.
Mark van Bommel had the ball in the Bielefeld goal again three minutes later but midfielder Ali Karimi was wrongly adjudged offside when sent through earlier in the move by a deft Lukas Podolski pass.
'We were much more solid...at the back today and our attacks were better focused,' Hitzfeld said.
'It should have been 2-0 earlier which would have calmed things down. It's only with victories that we can get our self-confidence back - we can't just assume it's there because we are Bayern Munich.'
Bayern, without the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger in midfield, almost had a second on 70 minutes but Lucio could only direct the ball on to a post with his sliding lunge.
On Saturday, Schalke stretched their lead over Werder Bremen at the top to six points with a 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin as Werder lost 4-1 at third-placed VfB Stuttgart.
Schalke lead the standings on 48 points from 21 matches. Werder are second on 42 and Stuttgart third with 41.
Nuremberg, who beat Bayern 3-0 last week in Hitzfeld's first match back, scored two late goals through Ivan Saenko to beat VfL Bochum 2-0 in Sunday's other match.
The first came on 88 minutes when the Russian striker finished well at the far post from Dominik Reinhardt's cross. He grabbed his second in added time, picking up Horacio Pinola's pass and taking his time to find the roof of the net with a well-placed drive from 10 metres. Nuremberg move up one place to fifth in the table on 33 points, overtaking Hertha on goal difference, while Bochum lie second from bottom on 20, two ahead of Hamburg SV.