Julian Schieber struck to condemn Manchester City’s dismal Champions League campaign to a suitably sorry end in Dortmund.
The Premier League champions already knew they could not progress from Group D but had been looking to secure a consolation place in the Europa League.
With Ajax losing at Real Madrid that possibility was open to them, but it proved beyond Roberto Mancini’s men as Schieber hit the only goal of a subdued affair at the Westfalenstadion just before the hour.
In time, they may find the lack of European action assists them in their title defence but they must get the disappointment out of the system quickly before Sunday’s derby against Manchester United.
The result left City bottom of their group with just three points and without a win, one of the worst performances by an English side at this stage of the competition.
Afterwards despondent City goalkeeper Joe Hart said he did not know what had gone wrong with their European displays, but said: “We need to address it.”
City needed to win to have any hope of third place, and Hart insisted the intensity had been there, but only until Schieber scored.
“I think it was (there) but then they scored and it disappeared,” he said. “We’ve not qualified, we’ve not even got in the Europa League. We wanted a win and we’ve let ourselves down. We wanted to do it and if that meant Europa League then great. We’ve only got ourselves to blame.”
Asked if going out of Europe might be better for his team in the league, Mancini said: “This can help us for the Premier League but we wanted to try and play in the Europa League. This was our target.”
Dortmund – already confirmed as group winners – achieved the victory without dynamic midfielder Mario Gotze and, for the most part, prolific striker and reported Manchester United target Robert Lewandowski. They had the first attack of note after 11 minutes but Marco Reus’ shot was comfortably claimed by Hart.
It was not until midway through the half that City produced anything meaningful with their possession as Samir Nasri slipped in Dzeko but his cross for Tevez was cut out.
City’s best chance of the first half came when they got in a shot on goal just after the half hour. A controlled move created the opportunity for Dzeko but the Bosnian’s low effort was tipped around the post by Roman Weidenfeller.
Dortmund claimed the lead soon after as substitute Jakub Blaszczykowski beat Nastasic out wide and crossed low for Schieber to tap in.
Lewandowski, introduced 12 minutes from time, went through on goal but Hart stood up to him to block. Aguero threatened an equaliser five minutes from time but could only pick out Weidenfeller.