Ivan Perisic
Dortmund's Perisic scores goal during the Champions League match against Arsenal in Dortmund. REUTERS

Substitute Ivan Perisic scored a spectacular late volley to give Borussia Dortmund a deserved 1-1 draw against Arsenal in their Champions League Group F opener Tuesday.

Robin van Persie looked to have given Arsenal an unlikely victory after a neatly taken goal in the first half. But Perisic grabbed a late equaliser for the German champions with a dipping volley that left goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny flat-footed.

Dortmund could have snatched the victory late into stoppage time but a fine save from Szczesny denier Robert Lewandowski.

The German side dominated the opening half hour and van Persie's goal came against the run of play following a clever Theo Walcott through-ball.

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger handed Yossi Benayoun his first start, with new-signing Per Mertesacker also taking his place in defence. But the Frenchman, watching from the stands due to a suspension, could only watch as his team endured an onslaught of attacks.

"A point apiece is a good result here," said Arsenal assistant manager Pat Rice. "I don't think many teams will come here and get a result.

"We battled really hard and we knew it would be a hard, hard game. To be able to defend well is a high quality skill and that is something all of our players did this evening.

"Don't forget Dortmund are a really good side. There is no question about that. And we were very, very close to beating them."