Borussia Dortmund racked up win number 500 at their Signal Iduna Park home on Matchday 22 of the 2017/18 season, underlining the fortress-like nature of a venue which has been striking fear into opponents since 1974.

Hamburg – a club who have visited the venue more than many over the past 44 years – found no antidote for the affliction which strikes the majority of its guests, going down 2-0 on Saturday.

The statistics don’t lie: up to their 3-2 reverse to Leipzig in October, BVB had not lost to Bundesliga opposition at the Signal Iduna Park in 30 months. Opposing teams arrive with a nagging feeling of dread in their stomachs, pre-match butterflies fluttering less than merrily. Most have left as sick as the proverbial parrot having been stung several times by the busy and supremely talented black-and-yellow bees.

Watch: Dortmund’s imposing Gelbe Wand

The buzz from Europe’s biggest average crowd, at more than 81,000 a shot, emits a constant, never-sated hunger for seeing opposing teams put to the sword in spectacular fashion every home game.

So vocal is the support, and not just from the imposing ‘Yellow Wall’, coach Peter Stöger not only has a 12th but even a 13th man in the stands, pushing the team to win after win; three points after three points.

“We want to make this stadium a fortress,” said former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, who succeeded in that undertaking by not tasting defeat in the Bundesliga once and witnessing his team outscoring opponents 90 to 22 in two years of residence at the Signal Iduna Park “We want to give our opponents stomach aches.”

Hamburg headed back north with some gastroenteritis of their own on Saturday, after failing to stomach another defeat at the Signal Iduna Park – the 500th, to be precise, for a visiting club in the Bundesliga.


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