When Jurgen Klopp left Dortmund on April 15, 2015, it was a seismic shift in terms of what he had built at the club.
But like anything, all good things have to come to an end and his replacement proved to inject a yellow spark into this one-sided rivalry.
Round 4: 2015-17
Coincidently, the man who replaced Klopp at Mainz was the current PSG coach Thomas Tuchel, and when Klopp left Dortmund, Tuchel jumped ship from Mainz to succeed him again. He changed the style of Dortmund, becoming more flexible tactically and pressing with less intensity.
Despite Munich winning their fourth title in a row, making it a hat trick of titles for Pep Guardiola, Tuchel’s Dortmund managed to push Munich a lot closer in Guardiola’s final season at the helm. Munich only won the league by a ten-point margin, compared to a difference of 20 points in 2013-14, while 2014-15 saw Dortmund finish a humongous 33 points behind the champions.
Tuchel’s first Der Klassiker did not end well, as Dortmund were on the end of a 5-1 hammering. However, when Bayern came to visit Dortmund they managed to hold Guardiola’s side to a 0-0 draw.
The two sides then met again in Berlin for their third DFB Pokal final in five years. With the recent scores at one each, Munich were able to win again, this time on penalties following a 0-0 draw to give Guardiola one last trophy as a send-off.
The summer of 2016 saw Guardiola leave Munich for Manchester, and in came Carlo Ancelotti as his replacement. Ancelotti started well by winning the Super Cup, defeating Dortmund 2-0 in their first encounter, but when the two sides met three months later in the north-west of Germany, it was a different matter as a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal was enough to give Dortmund a 1-0 lead and ensure that there was a post-Christmas title race.
By this point in time, Mario Gotze had in fact returned to Dortmund, as his stint at Bayern had not really worked out. The only real highlights occurred when he played his former employees. Nevertheless, he continued this trend by haunting Bayern by nutmegging Mats Hummels for the assist to Aubameyang. Hummels was the latest Dortmund player to be poached by Bayern, but to the joy of the yellow wall, he did not have a happy return like his predecessors.
Unfortunately for the Dortmund fans and Tuchel, BVB could not keep up with Bayern’s pace, and by the time the two met in April, the gap was seven points. Then when after the game the gap had increased to ten points, and a goal difference had swung by six goals, Bayern were all but assured their fifth title in a row. Tuchel departed at the end of the season.
Tuchel did, however, win one trophy at the expense of Bayern, which was the DFB Pokal, and he did so by knocking out Bayern in the semi-finals. Despite Mats Hummels becoming the latest of the Dortmund-turned-Bayern players to score against his old club, Dortmund claimed victory, denying Bayern a fourth double in five years.
This period was even.
Round 5: Too many managers to list
Since the start of the 2017-18 season, both Dortmund and Bayern have each had three coaches, with both experiencing periods of instability and inconsistency. Despite this, Bayern did manage to win the 2017-18 and 2018-19 titles, but possibly only because Dortmund had become equally unstable.
In both of these seasons, Dortmund led Munich by a gap of around ten points in winter but then collapsed in the second half of the season.
The 2017-18 season was a strange campaign for Dortmund, who started the season with Peter Bosz in charge. They won six of their first seven games, opening up a six-point gap over Munich, who around that time sacked Ancelotti.
However, by Round 11, the pendulum had swung, as Munich beat BVB 3-1 in Dortmund to open up a four-point lead over Dortmund. They had only picked up one point from a possible 12 and Munich, who had clawed back ten points. Now under the stewardship off Jupp Heynckes, they proved to be a juggernaut.
A month later BVB followed suit and sacked Bosz, bringing in Peter Stoger in early December, just in time for a cup match against Munich, who proceeded to knock them out with a 2-1 win.
The following April at the Allianz Arena, the score was Munich 6, Dortmund 0. Another title for Munich – now their sixth in a row.
The following season saw Niko Kovac and Lucien Favre in the dugouts. In an almost deja vu situation from the year before, Dortmund had started the season well, winning seven of their first ten games. They were undefeated going into their autumn fixture at home to Bayern with a four-point lead.
In one of the best contests in the history of the rivalry, the lead changed hands four times, with Robert Lewandowski giving Munich a halftime lead with his 13th goal against his former club. However, Marco Reus equalised with a penalty soon after the break.
Lewandowski scored a header to restore Munich’s lead three minutes later. However, Dortmund sent on Spanish loanee Paco Alcacer to changes things up. With Marco Reus running things, Jadon Sancho stretched the defence and Alcacer’s intelligent movement gave the Munich defence an added headache. Reus soon converted his second, following a sweeping move.
Then with the game finely poised at 2-2, Munich were attacking down the Dortmund right before Sancho won the ball. He played a one-two with Reus before breaking away at pace and firing a long-range pass to the centre of the pitch, which Alcacer could run onto due to a high line played by Munich in an attempt to peg Dortmund back.
Of course, the super sub scored, which turned out to be a 73rd-minute winner and sent Dortmund seven points clear and on course to be the 2018 winter champions. However, Bayern being Bayern slowly came back under Kovac and by the time BVB had to travel to Munich in April, the gap was one point.
Munich scored five without reply, one less than the season before, and delivered a hammer blow en route to their seventh title in a row.
And so to this season, which saw Lewandowski score his 17th and 18th goals against Dortmund, and Munich emerge as 4-0 victors in November 2019. Bayern won their second meeting of this Bundesliga campaign 1-0 this week.