Germany round-up: Bayern back on course

FC Bayern München beat Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2-0 on Sunday to claim their first 1. Bundesliga victory since early November.

Champions FC Bayern München stated a strong case for their defence with a 2-0 dismissal of Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Sunday - their first 1. Bundesliga victory since 3 November.

Bayern up to fourth
Giovane Elber volleyed home Bayern's first goal in the 67th minute and Stefan Effenberg added a penalty three minutes later to seal a much-needed victory at the Olympiastadion. Bayern had entered the match trailing leaders BV Borussia Dortmund by nine points, and on the back of a 5-1 humbling at FC Schalke 04.
The victory leaves Bayern in fourth place with 37 points, six points behind leaders BV Borussia Dortmund. Second-placed Leverkusen have 42 points.

Ninth of the season
Leverkusen had the clearest chance of the first half in the 16th minute when Diego Placente broke the Bayern offside trap but dragged the ball wide when facing Oliver Kahn. The opening goal fell to Bayern, though, when Effenberg swept over a free-kick from the left which Thomas Linke headed into the path of Elber, who swivelled and volleyed powerfully into the top of the net for his ninth league strike of the season.

Nowotny concedes penalty
Germany international Jens Nowotny then felled Willy Sagnol in the penalty area and Effenberg stroked his penalty into the bottom right corner.

Hansa ease worries
In Sunday's other Bundesliga match FC Hansa Rostock eased their relegation worries slightly by taking maximum points with a 1-0 win in their home encounter against basement club FC St. Pauli. Substitute Dietmar Hirsch scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot seven minutes from time.