Die Schwarz-Gelben frittered away chance after chance at Borussia Park, before succumbing to two late goals from Gladbach's Max Kruse and Raffael, and now find themselves having to play catch-up on new Bundesliga leaders FC Bayern München for the first time this season.
'Hard to take'
"We were in control of the game and created plenty of chances, but unfortunately we couldn't make them count," lamented left back Erik Durm. "We lacked a bit of consistency in attack. We were in complete control for most of the game; then we concede a penalty and a red card and fall behind. Of course, it's very disappointing and hard to take."
A cursory glance at the post-match statistics underlines Dortmund's dominance. BVB registered a handsome 27 shots on Marc-Andre ter Stegen's goal compared to Gladbach's six at the other end as BVB walked away from the contest not only pointless but also goalless: a first for Jürgen Klopp's misfiring troops this term.
'We bossed the game'
"We definitely only have ourselves to blame for the defeat," said sporting director Michael Zorc. "We bossed the game for more than 80 minutes in a way I have rarely seen before. Unfortunately we forgot to score goals. The final ball or end product was missing. The way we played today, our pressing and our build-up play, was good, but only up to the edge of the penalty box."
You can certainly see where Dortmund's head honcho is coming from. No less than ten different players had a pop at ter Stegen's goal, with defender Mats Hummels squandering the best chance of them all at the height of Dortmund's dominance, before being sent off for a professional foul with ten minutes to go. Kruse duly converted from the spot, Raffael joined his brother Ronny in the weekend scorers' charts with an emphatic strike of his own and BVB's unbeaten league run was no more.
'Not a good feeling'
"We didn't anticipate being able to dominate for so long," explained head coach Klopp. "We know all too well we are also to blame for the defeat. We were forced to make changes because we wanted to win. I haven't seen the penalty yet. It's not easy chasing a game with ten men. Then we conceded a second and lost. It's not a good feeling. Once it's sunk in, we'll be able to look at the positives."
In that respect, the international break could perhaps not have come at a better time. Dortmund played well in Gladbach; just not well enough. While an injury to midfielder Nuri Sahin soured an already unsavoury aftertaste in the BVB mouths. Klopp now has twelve days to take stock, before his side's next Bundesliga assignment at home to Hannover 96. With a single point separating the top three, the title-chasing merry-go-round has only just begun.