Once Olivier Giroud cancelled out Henrikh Mkhitaryan's opener, there only looked like being one winner, but Robert Lewandowski had other ideas, delivering the sucker punch with nine minutes remaining.
'Miki' strikes first
Dortmund’s trademark pressing clearly unsettled the Barclays Premier League leaders who, unaccustomed to being allowed so little time on the ball, fell behind just 16 minutes into the contest. Marco Reus and Lewandowski forced the mistake from Aaron Ramsey on the edge of the box, with the Pole sliding into the path of Mkhitaryan to slam home from 12 yards out.
Although often starved of time and space in midfield, Arsenal were nevertheless making good use of lone striker Giroud. The Frenchman's determined running was causing problems for the Dortmund back four and very nearly contributed to an equalising goal as BVB old boy Tomas Rosicky saw his dipping half volley cleared off the line by Mats Hummels.
Dortmund's defensive pillar could do nothing to prevent Arsenal drawing level, though, with Ramsey atoning for his earlier error with some clever play in midfield to release Bacary Sagna. The France international's right-wing cross looked like being easy pickings for goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, but a mix-up with centre back Neven Subotic allowed Giroud to steal in and level with five minutes of the half remaining.
Their feathers momentarily ruffled, Dortmund swiftly set about reasserting their authority on the contest after the break. Roaming right-back Kevin Großkreutz and Jakub Blaszczykowski joined the counter-attacking cast, but neither could deliver the telling ball from the right-hand side, with suspended head coach Jürgen Klopp watching on pensively from the stands
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Jonas Hofmann entered the fold in a bid to reignite BVB's flickering flame, yet it was Arsenal substitute Santi Cazorla who was looking the most likely matchwinner, rattling the angle of post and bar in the 68th minute.
Dortmund had been largely on the back foot following the restart, but it took just one fell swoop for the Bundesliga side to retake the lead. Großkreutz supplied the goods, with Per Mertesacker leaving Lewandowski completely unmarked to lash past Wojciech Szczesny and blow Group F wide open.
Arsenal: Szczesny - Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs - Ramsey (Bendtner 86'), Arteta - Rosicky (Gnabry 89'), Özil, Wilshere (Cazorla 57') - Giroud
Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Großkreutz, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender, Sahin - Blaszczykowski (Aubameyang 65'), Mkhitaryan (Hofmann 65'), Reus (Sokratis 86') - Lewandowski
Goals: 0-1 Mkhitaryan (16'), 1-1 Giroud (40'), 1-2 Lewandowski (81')
Check out Lewandowski's five best strikes in the German top flight, courtesy of the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: