Aaron Ramsey continued his excellent scoring form for Arsenal FC with the only goal of the game to earn the Premier League leaders a 1-0 victory at Borussia Dortmund in Group F.
The Welsh international's 13th goal for club and country this season was enough to extend Arsenal's unbeaten streak to 15 away matches in all competitions while also ending the hosts' run of seven straight home wins in the UEFA Champions League. The Gunners drew level with SSC Napoli, who beat Olympique de Marseille 3-2, on nine points at the section summit, with Dortmund three behind in third.
Considering BVB coach Jürgen Klopp had promised a "heavy metal" performance from his side, the opening quarter of an hour was fairly easy listening with most of the noise coming from the enthusiastic home crowd. Possession was evenly spread with both teams adopting a respectful, almost tentative approach.
Neven Subotić nearly upset the balance when he stabbed just wide after Ramsey had inadvertently headed a Marco Reus free-kick back across his own area on 17 minutes and subsequently Dortmund began to grasp control. Jakub Błaszczykowski hooked another effort high and wide after good play between Kevin Grosskreutz and Reus on the right, but the best chance of the half fell to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who failed to beat Wojciech Szczęsny one-on-one after being played in by Reus.
Robert Lewandowski, hat-trick hero at the weekend against VfB Stuttgart, took his frustrations out with a powerful shot from range as the half-time whistle neared. When the second period started in a similar fashion, with Reus and Błaszczykowski each drawing saves from Szczęsny, it was clearly the Bundesliga outfit on top.
Then Arsenal struck. Anonymous for the first hour, Mesut Özil swung over a cross which Olivier Giroud did well to nod down for Ramsey to steal in ahead of Nuri Şahin and head past Weidenfeller. With the deadlock broken, the game opened up and as Dortmund poured forward in search of a leveller, Ramsey almost got another but was denied by Roman Weidenfeller at the near post.
Şahin then had to intervene on the line to keep out a Giroud effort and Marcel Schmelzer swerved a fierce strike into the side netting at the other end. Despite a frantic finish there was to be no further scoring and Arsenal went first in the section, a position also familiar to them domestically.