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Review of 2015, part 2

Lewandowski goal fest, Ribery’s return

The make-up of the squad changed slightly in the summer but success remained. And the first half of the 2015/16 season has brought more magical performances from FC Bayern. Part two of the review by fcbayern.de looks at the period from July to December.

JULY

Pre-season starts and Costa transfer: The Bayern squad return to the training ground. The German record champions announce the signing of Douglas Costa on 1 July. The wizard on the wing arrives from Shakhtar Donetsk and hits the ground running in his first few weeks in Munich, proving a big hit from the start.

Schweinsteiger leaves Bayern: After 17 years and with 20 titles under his belt Bastian Schweinsteiger seeks a new challenge in the Premier League at Manchester United. FC Bayern announces the departure of the vice-captain on the day of the Allianz Team presentation at the Arena.

Audi summer tour to China: Bayern fly out for an eight-day tour of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In addition to the many training sessions the players also have a host of PR activities to complete. “We will go all out to make the most of this market in the coming years,” declares Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Vidal signs from Juve: FCB continue to plan for the 2015/16 season. Arturo Vidal signs a four-year deal in Munich. Bayern later go on to sign Vidal’s Juventus team-mate Kingsley Coman on loan - the final new signing in the summer transfer window.

AUGUST

Bundesliga opener: A lightning start to the new season. Hamburg SV are overwhelmed at the Allianz Arena at the wrong end of a 5-0 scoreline. Mehdi Benatia scores the first goal in the new league season and Thomas Müller bags a brace.

Last-minute transfers: Sven Ulreich, Joshua Kimmich, Douglas Costa, Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman strengthen the Bayern squad in the summer of 2015. Understandably, one or two players leave the club. Schweinsteiger, Reina and Weiser are joined by Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen) and Dante (VfL Wolfsburg) in moving on to new pastures. Youngster Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg goes out on loan at Schalke.

SEPTEMBER

Win in Champions League opener: Arsenal, Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos provide the opposition at the group stage. Bayern register a convincing 3-0 win in the opening game in Piraeus. Thomas Müller is man of the match with two goals. Mario Götze nets the second goal on the night.

Lewandowski bags five: Five goals in a game? Impossible? Not at all! And all done and dusted in nine minutes. Robert Lewandowski had the time of his footballing life on 22 September 2015. The Poland striker starts on the subs’ bench against Wolfsburg. Lewandowski comes on for the start of the second half with FCB 1-0 down. The rest is history…

Rummenigge 60 not out: FC Bayern and club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge celebrate milestone birthdays in 2015. Rummenigge enjoys his special day with his family. There is a bigger party at the start of October with the FC Bayern staff in the Säbener Lounge at the Allianz Arena.

OCTOBER

EURO qualifiers end: A large number of Bayern players will again be taking part in major competitions in the summer of 2016. The German stars will be at the European Championship alongside players from Spain (Thiago, Bernat, Martínez), Austria (Alaba), Poland (Lewandowski) and hosts France (Coman). Lewandowski ends the Euro 2016 qualifiers as the top goalscorer on 13.

1,000 Bundesliga wins: FC Bayern have set countless records since promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965 - and another one is clocked up on 24 October: A 4-0 victory at home to FC Köln is Bundesliga win number 1,000 for FC Bayern. A proud milestone indeed.

NOVEMBER

Shock in Paris: Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng, Thomas Müller and Kingsley Coman are playing in the international between France and Germany in Paris when the French capital is hit by terrorist attacks. The friendly between Germany and Holland in Hanover a few days later is called off at short notice.

Champions League group win: An emphatic 4-0 victory against Olympiacos sees Bayern secure top spot in the group on Matchday five. It is also home tie number 100 for FCB in Europe’s premier club competition.

DECEMBER

First Bundesliga defeat: FC Bayern lose for the first time in the Bundesliga in a 3-1 defeat to Gladbach.

Ribéry comeback: Franck Ribéry returns to action at Gladbach nine months after his last appearance. “It feels great,” says the Frenchman following the lay-off caused by an ankle injury. Unfortunately, Ribéry soon picks up another injury in Zagreb, this time it’s a thigh problem.

Record in Zagreb:  Bayern end the group stage of the Champions League on 15 points with a goal difference of 19 for and three against – the club’s best return ever. The final game at Dinamo Zagreb sees Robert Lewandowski grab another brace. Bayern face last season’s finalists Juventus in the Round of 16. A tough task indeed.

Top at Christmas: FCB go into the winter break top of the league with an eight-point lead over Borussia Dortmund. The record champions pick up a 1-0 win at Hannover 96 on matchday 17. And that is achieved with a much reduced squad as eight regular starters are sidelined with injuries (Robben, Ribéry, Lahm, Costa, Alaba, Götze, Benatia and Bernat).

Guardiola leaves, Ancelotti arrives: It’s official after the Hannover game. Pep Guardiola announces he will not extend his contract past the end of the season. His successor is the Italian Carlo Ancelotti. But the hunt for silverware this term goes on as before…  

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