Tomáš Rosický capped a superb display with the second-half penalty that fired BV Borussia Dortmund through to the next stage of the UEFA Champions League but, despite defeat tonight, Arsenal FC are also through.
Thierry Henry’s free-kick had given Arsenal the lead in the first half of this Group A encounter at the Westfalenstadion, but Dortmund came from behind to seal the points thanks to the Czech youngster whose free-kick was headed into his own goal by Gilberto to draw Dortmund level before Rosický converted from the penalty spot early in the second half. The 2-1 result was Arsenal's fourth straight loss by that scoreline in all competitions.
Dortmund dominated possession in the opening period and should have gone ahead after only two minutes when Ewerthon sent Lars Ricken clear with a precise low pass. Ricken burst into the box and beat David Seaman with a low drive only to see the ball bounce back off the post.
Koller hits the post
On 14 minutes Seaman was beaten again, this time by Jan Koller who outmuscled Sol Campbell to Dede's cross from the left only to angle his point-blank header on to the upright.
Koller could not believe he had missed and Dortmund could not believe they were trailing when just four minutes later Henry curled a free-kick past a static Lehmann to put the Gunners ahead against the run of the play.
Vieira fires wide
It was the striker's first goal in five games and settled an Arsenal side who might have added a second on 28 minutes when Fredrik Ljungberg teed up Patrick Vieira who stabbed a first-time shot narrowly wide.
Gilberto own goal
Arsenal, however, were restricted to hitting on the break and Dortmund's pressure soon told. On 37 minutes Ewerthon shot over when clear, but Dortmund broke through two minutes later, Rosický directing a free-kick into the box which Gilberto headed past his own keeper.
The pace slowed after the break, but Dortmund continued to see the majority of the ball and Rosický made the London side pay again on 62 minutes. The Czech international threaded a pass through to Koller to send his compatriot through on goal and the powerful striker needed just one touch to take the ball past Seaman who brought him down to concede the penalty.
Although Seaman guessed correctly, the England keeper could not get his hand to Rosický's kick as it flew into the right corner of his goal. Rosický came close to adding another nine minutes later when picked out in space at the far post. Ashley Cole, however, was quickly across to block his goalbound shot.
Arsenal scrape through
With PSV Eindhoven beating AJ Auxerre 3-0, Arsenal would still qualify even in defeat, but the London side pushed forward in search of the equaliser. Nwankwo Kanu headed wide shortly after replacing Robert Pires, and Ljungberg and Henry both saw half-chances go begging, but Dortmund were able to hold on to avenge their 2-0 defeat at Highbury on Matchday One and take control at the top of the group.