A Daniel Didavi brace looked like being enough for the valiant south-west club to take all three points, only for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ciro Immobile to spare BVB's blushes late on.
Dortmund left-back Marcel Schmelzer made his first league appearance of the season in place of Erik Durm, who was joined on the substitutes' bench by fellow FIFA World Cup winner and returning club captain Mats Hummels. Neven Subotic was preferred to Matthias Ginter at the heart of the back four, with Ecuadorian World Cup-goer Carlos Gruezo also involved from the get-go for the rock-bottom visitors.
Die Schwaben had made the long trip north as one of five Bundesliga sides still without a win this season, but started brightly enough much to the chagrin of the vociferous black and yellow majority packed inside the sold-out Signal Iduna Park. Timo Werner appeared to be thriving in the lone striker role, showing three BVB players a clean pair of heels and warming the palms of Roman Weidenfeller, before Gruzeo lashed wide.
Didavi on cue
Dortmund had offered little as an attacking unit, but almost got their noses in front in the 27th minute when Lukasz Piszczek picked out the run of Shinji Kagawa, whose inventive chip grazed the top of the crossbar. Stuttgart goalkeeper Sven Ulreich did well to get a hand to a fierce effort from Kevin Großkreutz, with Weidenfeller also in action at the other end to swat clear BVB loanee Moritz Leitner's teasing free kick.
Neither side looked comfortable defending set pieces and, after BVB centre-back Subotic stabbed wide from a teasing Milos Jojic cross, Stuttgart struck short-corner-kick gold. Leitner and Gentner were the architects of the move, with unmarked No10 Didavi coolly stroking home the opening goal despite the best efforts of Subotic on the line.
Jürgen Klopp sacrificed a man in midfield as Sven Bender made way for Adrian Ramos, but it was Stuttgart who took full advantage. Antonio Rüdiger's long ball drew Schmelzer out of position, leaving Didavi all alone to tuck Werner's cut back beyond the reach of the onrushing goalkeeper.
Dortmund halved the deficit five minutes later thanks to a fine Piszczek pass and an even better finish from Aubameyang, before Stuttgart substitute Vedad Ibisevic wasted a glorious opportunity to guarantee victory with 14 minutes to go. Ramping up the pressure, BVB duly levelled courtesy of Immobile's maiden Bundesliga goal, with Rüdiger's heroic goal line clearance denying Piszczek a sure-fire winner in injury time.
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