Mkhitaryan netted his side’s crucial second goal shortly after the break before teeing up Ilkay Gündogan to put the seal on a 3-1 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach in the closing stages.
"He [Thomas Tuchel] told me in our very first conversation that he could lift me to a world-class level," said Mkhitaryan. "At first, I didn’t necessarily believe him but he’s been true to his word and I’m thankful for that. He gives you the confidence you need. He talks a lot with the players and gives good advice. I’m really happy to be working alongside him."
The 27-year-old’s sublime pass for Gündogan was his 17th assist in 29 competitive games this season – one more than Arsenal FC’s Mesut Özil.
That Mkhitaryan both created a goal and found the net at the BORUSSIA-PARK was hardly a surprise: The Armenia skipper has been involved in at least one goal in eight of BVB’s last nine games and already boasts more combined goals and assists (16) than last season (seven).
That current tally of 16 is the fourth-best return of any player in the top-flight and Mkhitaryan only needs to have a hand in four more goals this term to overtake his personal best of 20 set during an impressive first season at BVB in 2013/14.
Dortmund’s current attacking prowess is underlined by the fact that alongside Mkhitaryan three other players also feature in this season’s top ten for combined goals and assists in the league: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (22), Marco Reus (11) and Shinji Kagawa (ten).
With 50 league goals already racked up, Tuchel has developed BVB into the Bundesliga’s most prolific attacking force, and the 42-year-old tactician was understandably delighted with his team’s start to the Rückrunde. "It was a very mature performance," he said. "It was really grown-up, adult football."
Dortmund’s potency was on full display in Mönchengladbach, with Tuchel’s troops inflicting upon the Foals a first home defeat since Andre Schubert took over in September, in the process picking up a first victory at the BORUSSIA-PARK since 2009.