Bayern down Rostock to go clear at top of Bundesliga

Society Materials 2 February 2008 01:31 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Bayern Munich came out of the Bundesliga winter break with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at lowly Hansa Rostock Friday.

Franck Ribery in the 10th minute and Luca Toni in the 42nd got the goals as Bayern opened a three-point lead over Werder Bremen at the top of the league.

Bremen entertain lowly VfL Bochum on Sunday, while third-placed SV Hamburg - now seven points adrift - host Hanover 96 on Saturday.

French international Ribery netted from five metres out after Miroslav Klose and Ze Roberto had combined well.

Italy striker Toni struck his 10th league goal of the season after finding himself unmarked in the area from a free-kick.

It was Bayern's first league game since coach Ottmar Hitzfeld announced in the winter break he would be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Hitzfeld could be pleased with the first-half performance, with Bayern going into the interval well in command.

But the Bundesliga leaders found themselves with a fight on their hands when Rostock skipper Enrico Kern pulled a goal back seven minutes after the break.

After 18 matches, Bayern have 39 points while Rostock stay fourth from bottom on 17.

In one of the weekend's top games, Schalke 04 hope to rebound from a cup defeat in Wolfsburg on Sunday against mid-table champions VfB Stuttgart.

The other games, all on Saturday, are Energie Cottbus vs. Bayer Leverkusen , SC Karlsruhe vs. Nuremberg, MSV Duisburg vs. Borussia Dortmund, Hertha Berlin vs. Eintracht Frankfurt and Arminia Bielefeld vs. VfL Wolfsburg.