BERLIN, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Forward Mario Mandzukic struck twice to steer Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich to a 2-0 victory over bottom-placed Greuther Fuerth on Saturday to protect their nine-point lead as the league resumed after a four-week mid-season break.
The hosts, who secured a major coup in midweek when they announced the signing of former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola for next season, never hit top form in a largely one-sided game.
It was enough, however, to lift them to 45 points, with second-placed Bayer Leverkusen on 36 after beating Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 in a game briefly delayed due to fans lighting flares and fireworks.
Croatia striker Mandzukic put Bayern into the lead in the 26th minute with a tame effort that slipped through Fuerth keeper Wolfgang Hesl’s hands.
Mandzukic grabbed his 11th goal of the season on the hour when he got in front of his marker to head in a Toni Kroos corner.
Champions Borussia Dortmund, third on 30 points, travel to Werder Bremen later on Saturday. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Toby Davis)