Julian Schieber's first UEFA Champions League goal was enough to end Manchester City FC's European season as Borussia Dortmund crowned a marvellous Group D campaign with a narrow victory.
The German title holders sailed through perhaps the competition's toughest section unbeaten in first place, recording their third successive home win. That is in stark contrast to City, who become the first English team in the UEFA Champions League era to fail to win a group match and finish fourth having lost all three of their away fixtures.
As a reward for their side's early progression to the knockout rounds, the home fans unveiled a magnificent choreography of the club crest as the players emerged from the tunnel. With top spot already assured, Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp gave several fringe players a chance to shine on Europe's biggest stage and one of them, Oliver Kirch, had the game's first effort on goal, a shot comfortably claimed by Joe Hart.
Opportunities remained scarce until Edin Džeko's dipping long-range strike required a hand around the post from Roman Weidenfeller. The Dortmund goalkeeper, brilliant against FC Bayern München at the weekend, again showed top-class reflexes to repel Carlos Tévez's point-blank header – albeit from an offside position – soon after the lively Marco Reus had fired narrowly wide having ghosted infield at the other end.
Reus's partner in attacking midfield Ivan Perišić, no stranger to scoring spectacular volleys versus English sides having contributed one against Arsenal FC last term, almost got another as Dortmund began to press after the break. The Croatian international watched a deep cross all the way before slamming the dropping ball goalwards, only for Hart to tip over.
The England No1 was then called upon to deny Kevin Grosskreutz's near-post drive after a smart interchange with Moritz Leitner, though there was nothing Hart could do on 57 minutes when substitute Jakub Błaszczykowski sent a teasing low ball into the box for Schieber to slide in his maiden goal in the competition.
The former VfB Stuttgart striker might have had a second when he raced through moments later, yet Hart was wise to the 23-year-old's attempted chip. Further spurned openings for Leitner and substitute Robert Lewandowski could have made for a more handsome scoreline as City struggled to respond, meaning AFC Ajax take the section's UEFA Europa League berth in spite of their 4-1 defeat at Real Madrid CF.
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