Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Arsenal, Westfalenstadion, 16 September 2014
Backed by an ever-vociferous home support, Borussia Dortmund roared out of the traps to get their Group D campaign off to a winning start with a comfortable 2-0 triumph over English Premier League side Arsenal.
Controlling possession and creating a hatful of chances from the word go, the hosts eventually made their pressure count on the stroke of half-time when Ciro Immobile fended off the attentions of Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs before steering the ball past Wojciech Szczesny for his first ever goal in the Champions League.
The points were made safe just three minutes into the restart, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rolling the challenge of Szczesny and prodding beyond Koscielny’s last-ditch attempt to clear off the line.
Anderlecht 0-3 Dortmund, Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, 1 October 2014
Jurgen Klopp’s men maintained their imperious start to this season’s Champions League by seeing in the month of October with a resounding 3-0 victory away at Anderlecht.
In spite of their domestic difficulties, which had seen them register two draws and a defeat in the Bundesliga since dispatching Arsenal two weeks previously, Borussia were able to turn on the style in Brussels.
Immobile once again opened the scoring – this time with just three minutes on the clock – before substitute Adrian Ramos’s quick fire double on 69 and 79 minutes ensured there would be no way back into the game for the hosts.
Galatasaray 0-4 Dortmund, Turk Telekom Arena, 22 October 2014
Three consecutive Group D wins and as many clean sheets were sealed courtesy of a sensational 4-0 triumph in the cauldron of the Turk Telekom Arena, where a first-half treble put Dortmund firmly in command.
Just six minutes had elapsed when an unmarked Aubameyang snatched the lead, rounding off a swift counter-attacking move by tapping Marco Reus’ cross home after Henrikh Mkhitaryan had released the German attacking midfielder into space.
Struggling to deal with the visitors’ explosive pace on the break, Galatasaray shipped a second six minutes later, Aubameyang once again profiting from slack marking in the box to guide Lukasz Piszczek’s cross past Fernando Muslera.
Moments before the half-time whistle, Muslera could only watch in astonishment as Reus caught him off his line to make it three, drawing applause from the home crowd for his audacious 30-yard lob.
Galatasaray rallied after the break but the night undoubtedly belonged to Borussia, who wrapped up the victory when Ramos came off the bench to dispatch a crisp finish beyond Muslera with seven minutes of normal time remaining.
Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Galatasaray, Westfalenstadion, 4 November 2014
Dortmund guaranteed their safe passage into the competition’s knockout stage for the third successive campaign with another humbling of Galatasaray, this time by a 4-1 margin.
Severe question marks had been raised over the hosts’ Champions League credentials due to a run of five straight Bundesliga defeats in the build-up to the game, but the bright lights of Europe once again managed to bring out the best in them.
Growing in stature after an early Wesley Sneijder scare, Borussia edged their noses in front six minutes before the break, Reus guiding the ball through the legs of Muslera to spark cheers of joy from the famous ‘Yellow Wall’.
Eleven minutes following the restart, Sokratis Papastathopoulos doubled the hosts’ lead from a corner, before Galatasaray halved the arrears with 20 minutes remaining to potentially set up a grandstand finish.
But Immobile climbed off the bench to net his third Champions League strike and restore Dortmund’s two-goal advantage, with an own goal Semih Kaya concluding a good night at the office for Klopp’s charges.
Arsenal 2-0 Borussia Dortmund, Emirates Stadium, 26 November 2014
The wheels of Borussia’s Group D bandwagon came off towards the end of November in North London, where Arsenal ensured they would be joining their already-qualified counterparts in the hat for the last 16.
Yaya Sanogo opened the scoring after just two minutes and Alexis Sanchez added another after half-time to keep the race for top spot alive with one game remaining.
Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Anderlecht, Westfalenstadion, 9 December 2014
Mission accomplished for the hosts, whose ability to avoid defeat ensured they maintained first place in Group D on goal difference at the expense of Arsenal.
It seemed as if they would be well on their way to a routine win when man-of-the-match Immobile gathered Nuri Sahin’s pass and fired home on 58 minutes, only for Aleksandar Mitrovic to claim a late point for the hosts with a header six minutes from time.