- Dortmund restored their status as Bayern's number one challengers.
- Start of Thomas Tuchel era exeeded all expectations.
- Borussia the only side to remain unbeaten at home all season.
After seven successful years under Jürgen Klopp, Borussia Dortmund entered a brave new world in 2015/16. The start of the Thomas Tuchel era would exceed all expectations.
Season in a nutshell
In his own words, Tuchel wanted to make Dortmund a genuine challenger in the Bundesliga once more. He managed that in jaw-dropping style. Dortmund’s renowned high-tempo pressing game was complemented by precise, possession-based football. The measured yet constantly attacking build-up play earned plaudits at home and abroad and restored Dortmund’s status as the number one challengers to FC Bayern München.
Direct qualification for the Champions League, described as the "most important title of the season" by CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke, was achieved with plenty of time to spare. Dortmund remained unbeaten at home all season, scored more goals than any other team and finished as the best runners-up in Bundesliga history. Furthermore, the team reached the final of the DFB Cup for the third season running.
Top three games
MD25: Borussia Dortmund 0-0 FC Bayern München
Despite being top scorers in the league, it was a goalless draw that showed how far Dortmund have come under Tuchel. The Klassiker against Bayern had everything: an intense, fast-paced, tactically intriguing match of the highest order.
MD1: Borussia Dortmund 4–0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
On the opening day of the season, a relentless Dortmund side simply blew Gladbach and memories of the disappointing previous season away.
MD12: Borussia Dortmund – FC Schalke 04 3:2
In a top-class Revierderby, Dortmund dominated, had more possession and countless chances yet only scraped past their great local rivals in the end.
He may have finished behind Robert Lewandowski in the leading scorers’ chart in the end, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang enjoyed a prolific season, smashing records along the way. He became the first player since Klaus Allofs to score in ten consecutive matches (spanning two seasons), his final tally of 25 goals was more than any African player had ever managed before in a Bundesliga campaign and he overtook Lewandowski himself as Dortmund’s all-time leading foreign scorer.
What is next?
Following the transfer of Mats Hummels to Bayern, acquiring a new central defender is the main priority. The club also needs to secure the long-term services of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The emphasis on youth was underlined in impressive fashion with the signing of 19-year old Spanish midfielder Mikel Merino and one of the hottest prospects in European football: the attacking midfielder Ousmane Dembélé from French side Stade de Rennes.
During pre-season, Dortmund will travel to China to take part in the Champions Cup, where they will face Manchester United and Manchester City from 22 July onwards. At the start of August, Dortmund will travel to the Swiss resort of Bad Ragaz for a training camp.
For bundesliga.com reporter Dietmar Nolte, the match against 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Matchday 26, football took a back seat following tragedy in the stadium. News spread that two fans had died in the stands. The reaction in the stadium was incredibly moving. The 25,000 fans on the Südtribune behind the goal rolled up their flags, withdrew their support, refrained from cheering. The visiting fans joined them. The overpowering silence was only broken in the final minutes with a heartfelt rendition of "You’ll Never Walk Alone" sung by 81,000 fans united in solidarity.