Arsenal's hopes of starting their Champions League campaign with an away win were dashed when substitute Ivan Perisic's superb late volley rescued a point for Borussia Dortmund.

Robin van Persie looked to have secured the points for the Gunners with a fine goal from Theo Walcott's through ball.

But Perisic dipped a sublime 20-yard shot home to salvage a draw.

And only a fine Wojciech Szczesny save from Robert Lewandowski in injury time stopped Arsenal finishing with nothing.

A defeat would have been harsh on the Gunners, especially after an improved rearguard action in the second half, but few could begrudge the German side a point from a match they dominated for long spells.

In fact, for 40 minutes in the first half Arsenal were kept almost completely on the back foot.

After Gervinho had been brilliantly denied an early shot on goal by Mats Hummels' outstretched boot, the German champions made a mockery of their fourth-seeding in this season's group-stage draw.

Analysis

It's a great point in the end for Arsenal, especially after the first 40 or so minutes when they looked so vulnerable. They tightened up well in the second half though, and Alex Song was absolutely outstanding. They will be disappointed to have conceded so late - but what can you do about Perisic's strike?

Mario Gotze was inventive, Lewandowski a menace, and Shinji Kagawa a constant source of energy as, time and again, the hosts played through a porous Arsenal midfield.

Kevin Grosskreutz fired over when well-placed in the box, Kagawa did similarly after being put through on goal and then Lewandowski, having rounded Szczesny, was denied by Bacary Sagna's goalline clearance.

With the Gunners far too lightweight in midfield, Mikel Arteta dropped back into a deeper-lying role. This freed Yossi Benayoun to go further forward, a move that helped forge a rare Arsenal chance on 30 minutes when the Israeli released Van Persie, only for the Dutchman's snap-shot to be tipped around the post.

Dortmund continued to control proceedings, however, and it looked only a matter of time before they would break through.

But then Arsenal scored. Sebastian Kehl's poor touch ended at Walcott's feet via Van Persie. The Englishman's return pass was a delight, allowing Van Persie to take a touch before rifling a rising drive past Roman Weidenfeller.

It was a big goal at the perfect time for the Gunners - and Wenger, seated in block 27, row 24, seat 63 of the 80,000-capacity stadium as a result of his touchline ban, will have liked what he saw after the break, too, Arsenal emerging in far better shape than they did the first.

Though Dortmund continued to boss possession and territory, they did so with far less venom than in the first half with Arsenal frustrating them by dropping a touch deeper and looking a lot more compact in midfield.

The outstanding Alex Song was at the heart of that for the visitors, and he played his part in creating a chance for Gervinho on the hour mark. The Ivorian danced past Neven Subotic and then Hummel before being denied by Weidenfeller.

With the clock ticking down and the hosts increasingly erratic in their attacking play, Arsenal looked comfortable.

It was then, though, that Dortmund finally produced a killer finish. Kieran Gibbs's half-clearance fell to substitute Perisic, who unleashed a fabulous dipping volley into the top corner.

Buoyed by their late strike and driven on by a rejuvenated and passionate home crowd, Dortmund went in search of a winner.

Lewandowski almost provided it in the dying seconds when he found himself one-on-one with Szczesny, but could not force the ball past the Polish keeper.

In the end, then, the Gunners were grateful for the final whistle - though a decent away performance overall should ensure they go into Matchday Two in a fortnight's time against Olympiakos in a confident mood.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Borussia Dortmund

  • 01 Weidenfeller
  • 04 Subotic
  • 15 Hummels
  • 29 Schmelzer Booked
  • 05 Kehl (Blaszczykowski - 68' )
  • 22 Bender Booked
  • 23 Kagawa (Zidan - 85' )
  • 09 Lewandowski
  • 11 Gotze
  • 19 Grosskreutz (Perisic - 69' )
  • 26 Piszczek

Substitutes

  • 20 Langerak
  • 27 Felipe Santana
  • 08 Da Silva
  • 16 Blaszczykowski
  • 21 Gundogan
  • 44 Perisic
  • 10 Zidan

Arsenal

  • 13 Szczesny
  • 03 Sagna Booked
  • 04 Mertesacker
  • 06 Koscielny
  • 28 Gibbs
  • 08 Arteta
  • 14 Walcott (Frimpong - 76' )
  • 17 Song
  • 30 Benayoun
  • 10 Van Persie (Chamakh - 85' )
  • 27 Gervinho (Santos - 86' )

Substitutes

  • 21 Fabianski
  • 11 Santos
  • 20 Djourou
  • 23 Arshavin
  • 26 Frimpong
  • 09 Park Chu-Young
  • 29 Chamakh
Ref: Rocchi
Att: 75,000

Match Stats

Shots

17 8

On target

10 6

Corners

6 4

Fouls

13 5

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:05 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +3:31

Laurent Koscielny takes the free kick.

90:00 +3:31 Booking

Booking The referee shows Sven Bender a yellow card.

90:00 +3:22

Sven Bender gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta.

90:00 +1:54

Mohamed Zidan takes a shot. Laurent Koscielny gets a block in.

90:00 +1:22

Handball by Clarindo Andre Santos. Free kick taken by Lukasz Piszczek.

89:31

Robert Lewandowski gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Frimpong. Direct free kick taken by Bacary Sagna.

89:02

Robert Lewandowski takes a shot. Wojciech Szczesny makes a save.

87:54 Goal scored

Goal! - Ivan Perisic - B Dortmund 1 - 1 Arsenal A goal is scored by Ivan Perisic from just outside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Arsenal.

87:18

Unfair challenge on Jakub Blaszczykowski by Alex Song results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Marcel Schmelzer, Kieran Gibbs manages to make a clearance.

86:21

Marouane Chamakh is caught offside. Lukasz Piszczek takes the free kick.

84:10

Kieran Gibbs takes the direct free kick.

84:10 Substitution

Substitution Clarindo Andre Santos replaces Yao Gervinho.

84:10 Substitution

Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Marouane Chamakh coming on for Robin van Persie.

84:10 Substitution

Substitution Mohamed Zidan comes on in place of Shinji Kagawa.

84:10

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Yossi Benayoun by Jakub Blaszczykowski.

82:39

Mario Gotze has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.

82:21

Emmanuel Frimpong is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Sven Bender.

80:26

Inswinging corner taken by Mario Gotze from the left by-line, Neven Subotic takes a shot. Wojciech Szczesny makes a save.

79:53

Corner taken right-footed by Mario Gotze.

78:48

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mikel Arteta on Mario Gotze. Mario Gotze crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Laurent Koscielny.

77:34

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Roman Weidenfeller.

76:48

The assistant referee signals for offside against Robin van Persie. Neven Subotic takes the indirect free kick.

75:28

Wojciech Szczesny takes the direct free kick.

75:28 Substitution

Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Emmanuel Frimpong coming on for Theo Walcott.

75:28 Booking

Booking The referee shows Marcel Schmelzer a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

75:22

Marcel Schmelzer challenges Yao Gervinho unfairly and gives away a free kick.

74:13

Shinji Kagawa takes a long range shot clearing the bar.

74:13 Booking

Booking Bacary Sagna receives a yellow card for time wasting.

73:51

The ball is swung over by Lukasz Piszczek.

72:13

Sven Bender gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta. Mikel Arteta takes the free kick.

69:43

Robin van Persie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mats Hummels. Marcel Schmelzer restarts play with the free kick.

67:39

Marcel Schmelzer shoots direct from the free kick, Laurent Koscielny gets a block in.

67:39 Substitution

Substitution Kevin Grosskreutz leaves the field to be replaced by Ivan Perisic.

67:39 Substitution

Substitution Jakub Blaszczykowski replaces Sebastian Kehl.

67:39

Sebastian Kehl fouled by Mikel Arteta, the ref awards a free kick.

66:03

Sven Bender takes a shot. Laurent Koscielny gets a block in. Sven Bender takes a shot.

64:05

Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, save made by Roman Weidenfeller.

63:13

Sven Bender concedes a free kick for a foul on Robin van Persie. Theo Walcott shoots direct from the free kick, blocked by Mats Hummels.

61:03

A cross is delivered by Marcel Schmelzer, save by Wojciech Szczesny.

60:47

Yao Gervinho takes a shot. Roman Weidenfeller makes a save.

60:03

Robin van Persie concedes a free kick for a foul on Neven Subotic. Neven Subotic takes the direct free kick.

59:02

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta by Mats Hummels. Wojciech Szczesny takes the direct free kick.

57:42

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mario Gotze, clearance by Per Mertesacker.

56:35

Theo Walcott takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.

55:25

Lukasz Piszczek challenges Yao Gervinho unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mikel Arteta has an effort direct from the free kick, Neven Subotic gets a block in.

54:47

Centre by Marcel Schmelzer.

53:34

Theo Walcott takes a shot. Blocked by Mats Hummels.

52:38

Lukasz Piszczek takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.

51:02

Unfair challenge on Alex Song by Sebastian Kehl results in a free kick. Bacary Sagna restarts play with the free kick.

49:19

Shinji Kagawa takes a shot. Blocked by Laurent Koscielny. The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.

48:29

Kevin Grosskreutz produces a cross, Bacary Sagna gets a block in.

45:54

Lukasz Piszczek produces a cross.

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:00 +1:17 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

44:19

Marcel Schmelzer produces a cross.

43:10

Mario Gotze takes the inswinging corner, Robin van Persie makes a clearance.

41:48

Theo Walcott provided the assist for the goal.

41:48 Goal scored

Goal! - Robin van Persie - B Dortmund 0 - 1 Arsenal Robin van Persie finds the net with a goal from just inside the area low into the middle of the goal. Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal.

40:06

Shinji Kagawa is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Wojciech Szczesny restarts play with the free kick.

37:57

The ball is sent over by Lukasz Piszczek, Robert Lewandowski takes a shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.

36:16

Shinji Kagawa sends in a cross, save by Wojciech Szczesny.

34:20

Unfair challenge on Alex Song by Sebastian Kehl results in a free kick. Bacary Sagna restarts play with the free kick.

32:43

Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save by Roman Weidenfeller. Corner taken by Mikel Arteta, save by Roman Weidenfeller.

29:58

The ball is swung over by Lukasz Piszczek, clearance by Per Mertesacker.

27:43

Shinji Kagawa delivers the ball, save by Wojciech Szczesny.

26:47

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Per Mertesacker.

25:43

The assistant referee signals for offside against Shinji Kagawa. Direct free kick taken by Bacary Sagna.

24:54

Sebastian Kehl challenges Mikel Arteta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Wojciech Szczesny takes the direct free kick.

22:21

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mario Gotze, Laurent Koscielny makes a clearance.

19:08

Corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie to the near post, Mats Hummels makes a clearance.

17:22

Shot by Kevin Grosskreutz from a long way out goes over the target.

16:40

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mikel Arteta, save by Roman Weidenfeller.

14:51

Shinji Kagawa concedes a free kick for a foul on Laurent Koscielny. Kieran Gibbs takes the direct free kick.

13:44

Mario Gotze challenges Robin van Persie unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kieran Gibbs takes the free kick.

11:57

Marcel Schmelzer takes a shot. Save made by Wojciech Szczesny.

11:36

Corner taken by Mario Gotze, clearance by Alex Song.

11:13

Robert Lewandowski takes a shot. Bacary Sagna manages to make a clearance.

10:45

Mario Gotze is caught offside. Wojciech Szczesny takes the free kick.

8:55

Shinji Kagawa produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.

7:43

A cross is delivered by Robert Lewandowski, clearance by Per Mertesacker.

6:47

Robert Lewandowski produces a cross.

5:01

Shot from deep inside the area by Kevin Grosskreutz clears the crossbar.

4:40

Yao Gervinho takes a shot. Save made by Roman Weidenfeller.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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