Bayern defend top spot in German Bundesliga

Berlin, Dec 19 (IANS) Bayern Munich returned to the top spot after beating Darmstadt 1-0 while Ingolstadt upset ten-men Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 at the closer of the 15th round of Bundesliga.

The “Bavarians” craved out a hard earned 1-0 victory on Sunday over resilient bottom team Darmstadt as Douglas Costas unleashed a hammer to make the difference, Xinhua news agency reported.

Despite encountering the last team of the Bundesliga standings, Carlo Ancelotti’ s men struggled to overcome the hosts’ well positioned defence.

The German record champions controlled the ball but lacked in ideas to pose any threat to Darmstadt’ s goalkeeper Michael Esser, who had nothing to do until the break.

After the restart, things started where they left off. Bayern controlled the proceedings on the pitch whereas the “Lilien” kept the visitors on the distance.

Nevertheless, Bayern Munich’s efforts paid off in the 71st minute when Douglas Costas drilled a long-range hammer from 25 meters into the top left corner to smooth the way for the 11th victory of the season.

Darmstadt had the golden chance to restore parity after a free kick but Manuel Neuer was on guard to deny twice in the closing period.

With the result, Bayern move atop the standings due to a better goal difference than newly promoted stunner team Leipzig. Darmstadt remain in the Bundesliga bottom after suffering the seventh straight defeat.

“It was a difficult game for us,” Bayern head coach Carlo Ancelotti said.

“Darmstadt defended very well. We did not play fast enough in the first half. In the second half we improved our performance. In the end, it is important to win and to stay atop the standings.”