Bayern Munich maintained an eight-point advantage at the top of the Bundesliga while sending Stuttgart to the bottom of the pile with a 2-0 win at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. After struggling for much of the first half, Bayern gained the lead with their first shot of the game as Arjen Robben netted his 12th of the season just before the interval. David Alaba curled in an eye-catching second early in the second half with Bayern's lead and first win of 2015 never looking in any doubt afterwards. Vedad Ibisevic was recalled to the Stuttgart starting XI – even if his last goal was over a year ago – in place of Martin Harnik, who has netted five times in his last nine games against Bayern. The Bosnian forward did not get to see much of the ball, though, as Stuttgart concentrated on defending for much of the first half, succeeding in nullifying their opponents. As the first half wore on, they started to emerge from their shell and came close to opening the scoring when Gotoku Sakai curled his shot beyond Manuel Neuer, but his effort grazed the outside of the post. Stuttgart did not look in any danger at the back either, but a fortunate deflection allowed Robben an inch of space inside the penalty area, and that is all he needed to volley Bayern in front just before the interval. Their second came just five minutes into the second half with Alaba sending in an unstoppable free-kick from almost 30 yards out, curling it over the wall and beyond the reach of Sven Ulreich. The Stuttgart goalkeeper had been beaten by Bayern's first two shots of the game, yet he could not be faulted on either with the quality of both simply too good. He did not have much work to do after, making just one save from Robert Lewandowski as Bayern controlled proceedings to a conclusion.