The Foals rode their luck for much of the contest, but Dortmund were made to pay for a profligate showing, with a Mats Hummels red card the precursor to late goals from Max Kruse and Raffael and BVB's first league defeat of the campaign.
Dortmund served up the first real chance of the afternoon through Gladbach old boy Marco Reus, who clipped a teasing effort over the bar after the home defence failed to get to grips with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang down the right-hand side. Leading Bundesliga goalscorer Robert Lewandowski was then sent through on goal, only for a heavy first touch to carry the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen and into touch for a goal kick.
The Poland international was at it again in the eleventh minute, winning a promising-looking free kick which Nuri Sahin whipped beyond the angle of post and bar. A Dortmund goal seemed inevitable, but Germany Under-21 international ter Stegen had other ideas, foiling Reus and Mats Hummels with a heroic double save. The Foals again had ter Stegen to thank for keeping the scores level moments later, this time beating away a Kevin Großkreutz piledriver.
The pressure showed no signs of dwindling as the half progressed, but after dancing his way through the Gladbach back four, Reus opted to play in a team-mate rather than go for goal himself, with the loose ball eventually being hooked clear. Aubameyang went closer still, sliding just inches past the upright from a tight angle.
The opening minutes of the second half followed a similar pattern as Lewandowski warmed the palms of ter Stegen, and on the rare occasion when Gladbach did break ranks, Venezuela international Juan Arango came up against a BVB rear guard in indomitable form.
To their credit, the home side were performing no less admirably as a defensive unit, with Oscar Wendt on hand at the near post to swipe clear from Aubameyang after the Gabon international got the better of ter Stegen. Sensing his side's growing frustration, Reus chanced his arm from range, but again there was simply no beating the Gladbach goalkeeper.
Tired legs took their toll as the game reached the 80th-minute mark, and Gladbach took full advantage as Hummels received a straight red card for a rash challenge on Havard Nordtveit, with Kruse dispatching the ensuing penalty. Reus responded with a fierce dead-ball effort that struck the bar, but the hosts had the final say as Raffael lashed under Roman Weidenfeller three minutes from time.
Line-ups and statistics
's strike to help sink Dortmund is just one of many a pearler by the Bundesliga's ever-growing Brazilian contingent. Take a look at some of the best of them on the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: