BV Borussia Dortmund recovered from a goal behind to start their UEFA Champions League Group C campaign with a 2-1 victory against a spirited FC Lokomotiv Moskva on a muddy pitch in Moscow.
Sergey Ignashevich had given Lokomotiv a deserved lead just past the half-hour mark but goals from Torsten Frings and Jan Koller before half-time wrapped up victory for the German side.
Despite clear skies in Moscow, Dortmund struggled initially to adapt to a heavy playing surface and the home side had the better of the opening exchanges, with 21-year-old striker Ruslan Pimenov in particular causing problems with his strength and pace.
That said, the outstanding player of the first half was Tomáš Rosický, who tormented Lokomotiv with strong running and a string of curling crosses intended for the towering Koller. One moment of genius from the Czech pair came on 29 minutes when the striker rolled a free-kick to Rosický, who flicked the ball up and rifled a volley narrowly wide with Lokomotiv goalkeeper Sergey Ovchinnikov rooted to the spot.
Lokomotiv took the lead from their very next attack and it was Pimenov who crafted the goal. He tricked one defender and held off three others before laying a square ball to Ignashevich, who thumped a low drive past Dortmund keeper Jens Lehmann.
Two minutes later the teams were level again when Rosický floated in a wonderful deep cross and Frings capitalised on lazy Lokomotiv defending to dive and nod the ball low into the corner. As the pitch became boggier, misplaced passes and clumsy challenges were commonplace, but the conditions did not detract from a high-tempo affair.
Two minutes before half-time, Lokomotiv's Nigerian striker James Obiorah barged Frings in the back to concede a free-kick well outside the danger area, but when Rosický played the ball out wide, it led to the game's third goal. Dedé clipped the ball past his marker and swung in a low cross which two Lokomotiv defenders missed, leaving Koller unmarked to steer the ball into the net.
A pulsating first half came to a close shortly after Ignashevitch's thunderous drive was well saved by Lehmann. The hard-working Vladimir Maminov was left bleeding from a head wound after jumping for the rebound with Koller and played no further part.
Dortmund go close
With Dortmund happy to protect their slender lead, the second half was a tighter affair and neither goalkeeper was truly tested. Koller twice had the chance to extend his side's lead, sending a glancing header narrowly wide on 64 minutes and nodding a more straightforward chance over 12 minutes later.
Suspension for Sennikov
At the other end, Lokomotiv's substitutes could have grabbed a share of the spoils but efforts from Baba Adamu and Milan Obradovic both went wide. To make matters worse for the new Russian champions, a booking for Dmitri Sennikov after a clumsy tackle on Rosický means he will miss their trip to Real Madrid CF in a fortnight's time.