After an exhilarating opening spell where Anthony Gordon forced visiting goalkeeper Gregor Kobel into two saves, Dortmund took a deserved lead when Felix Nmecha guided a precise finish into the corner on the counter-attack.
Newcastle struggled to create chances after half-time, with Callum Wilson wasting the best of them with a shot that was straight at goalkeeper Kobel.
Wilson then struck the bar with a late header before Gordon’s deflected effort also hit the bar in stoppage time - but Eddie Howe’s side were unable to find an equaliser.
The defeat leaves Newcastle in third place in Group F behind Paris Saint-Germain and Dortmund, who will host the Premier League side in the return fixture in two weeks’ time. Here are how the Newcastle players rated in the 1-0 defeat.
Newcastle United player ratings
Nick Pope, 7
The goalkeeper made a stunning double save to deny Niclas Fullkrug and Donyell Malen, instinctively flicking both close-range shots off his goalline. There was nothing he could do about Nmecha’s first-time finish into the corner, however.
Keiran Trippier, 4
Newcastle missed his influence and the right-back’s delivery, both from set-pieces and open play, was below its usual level.
The stand-in defender was immense against PSG but struggled more tonight, in what was a reality check for Newcastle on the whole.
Fabian Schar, 7
The centre-back needed to be perfect when committing to a couple of sliding challenges but was faultless throughout against a dangerous Dortmund attack.
Dan Burn, 4
The full-back had a busy night up against the terrific Malen and Marco Reus and did not look comfortable with the pace of the German side.
Not his night - lacked his usual sharpness in possession as Newcastle struggled to match Dortmund’s busy midfield. Replaced by Sandro Tonali shortly after the hour.
Tried his best to get Newcastle going but struggled to produce his usual quality from deep positions. Passes had to be played to perfection on such a quick pitch, while the Brazilian was otherwise sloppy.
Helped drive Newcastle forward from midfield and picked up possession in threatening positions but struggled defensively with the numbers that Dortmund were committing to attack - Nmecha’s opener exposed that he was missing from the edge of the box after the German side launched a swift counter.
Miguel Almiron, 7
Sparked the match into life with his first touches coming off the right wing and was involved in nearly all of Newcastle’s threatening moments. The accuracy of the final ball eluded him, however, but he was not the only one.
Alexander Isak, N/A
The tall and rangy striker looked perfect for an open contest and led Newcastle well from the front in the opening exchanges, however his night came to an early end and he was replaced by Callum Wilson midway through the first half. Newcastle lacked a spark from there.
Anthony Gordon, 8
The winger played with the energy he helped whip up at St James’ Park - this was another lively performance and he was Newcastle’s best player on the night. Still, Gordon should have done better after being played in by Isak, in the second of two chances that brought a save from Kobel. There remains a question over his end product.
Callum Wilson - 4: Struggled to replace Isak against a physical Dortmund defence. Had one big chance in the second half but failed to take it, and was then unlucky with a late header that hit the bar.
Sandro Tonali - 5: Likely to be his last involvement for a while and did not offer much after replacing Longstaff.
Jacob Murphy - N/A: Went off soon after coming on with a shoulder injury.
Matt Targett - 7: Added width to Newcastle’s attack after replacing Burn at left back and produced the first good Newcastle delivery of the night with his free kick for Wilson’s header.
Joe Willock - 5: Made his return from a long injury layoff.