If not the most eye-catching performance of their season so far, Bayern Munich’s win away to Hannover this afternoon had a significant impact on the state of play at the Bundesliga’s summit.
That result, combined with Borussia Dortmund’s defeat at the hands of Cologne, meant that Pep Guardiola’s men will go into 2016 boasting an eight point lead over their rivals at the top of the table.
Their 16th-placed opponents on the day have endured a torrid first half to the campaign, but tested their visitors early on, as Manuel Neuer, making his 300th league appearance, tipped Leon Andreasen’s header onto the crossbar.
Bayern responded to the scare by hitting the woodwork themselves, Robert Lewandowski’s shot coming off the upright and falling into the path of Thomas Müller, but the in-form forward’s effort on the rebound was kept out brilliantly by Hannover stopper Ron-Robert Zieler.
In the 40th minute, the Bavarians were awarded a penalty after Christian Schulz handled in the box and Müller made no mistake from the spot to take his goal tally to 22 in all competitions this term.