Besiktas 1-0 Liverpool: Tolgay roars in the Ataturk Olympic [divider]
Beşiktaş beat Liverpool on penalties to knock the Reds out of the Europa League Round of 32 at the Atatürk Olympic stadium.
The Black Eagles managed to beat Liverpool 10 years on from the 2005 UEFA Champions League final that was played at the same venue.
The atmosphere was brilliant going into the game as 63,000 turned out to fill the stands.
Slaven Bilic had a number of problems in defence going into the game. First choice centre-back Ersan Gülüm and left-back Ramon Motta were both suspended. Defender Alexander Milosevic and fullback Ismail Koybaşı were also out injured.
Bilic was forced to start with central midfielder Necip Uysal as centre-back and played right-back Daniel Opare as a makeshift left-back.
The Beşiktaş back four performed admirably considering the number of absentees. Necip Uysal made five tackles, eight interceptions and four clearances. The Turkish international was given a rating of 8.48 on Whoscored.
Only Atiba Hutchinson got a higher rating (8.50) and provided defensive cover along with his central midfield partner Veli Kavlak. Hutchinson and Kavlak played a physical game and made 12 tackles and five interceptions between them.
The Canadian international defended well but he also excelled in his passing. Hutchinson completed 98 passes at a 92 percent accuracy and also provided an attacking outlet with his driving forward runs.
Opare only joined on loan in January and had struggled for playing time but he left most Beşiktaş fans wondering why he does not start more often.
The Ghanian international caused Liverpool problems with his pace and completed five successful dribbles. Opare also completed 81 passes at an 89 percent accuracy and linked up well with Gökhan Töre on the wing.
Beşiktaş did however, struggle to really get going in the final third in the first half. Jose Sosa was unable to pull the strings in midfield and looked overwhelmed by the occasion. The Argentinian attacking midfielders passing was uncharacteristically poor. Sosa only made 36 passes at a 66 percent accuracy.
Bilic replaced Sosa with Tolgay Arslan and the effect was almost immediately felt. Arslan provided the creative outlet Beşiktaş craved in the first half. The Eagles were able to control more possession in the final third and he gave Liverpool a few warnings shots with his long range efforts.
The turning point in the game came on 72 minutes when Töre tore into the Liverpool penalty area before passing to Demba Ba who back heeled the ball to Arslan. The January signing smashed the ball into the top corner to send the crowd into delirium. The road that resulted from the stands following the goal was fitting considering his surname actually means Lion.
Ba almost won it for Beşiktaş right at the end when his shot from just outside the six yard box crashed into the crossbar.
Beşiktaş completed 727 passes compared to Liverpool’s 547 and controlled 55 percent possession over the course of the game.
The game headed into penalties at the end of extra time and after nine successful penalties Dejan Lovren stepped up and sent the ball flying over the bar.
Beşiktaş 1-0 Liverpool
Kick-Off: 18.00 (GMT)
Stadium: Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium
Referee: Damir Skomina
Besiktas: Cenk, Serdar, Franco, Necip, Opare, Atiba, Veli, Gökhan, Sosa, Olcay, Demba Ba
Manager: Slaven Bilic
Liverpool: Mignolet, Toure, Skrtel, Lovren, Allen, Can, Moreno, Ibe, Sterling, Balotelli, Sturridge
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
Goals: Tolgay Arslan 72′