Turkish League Round-up 17: The Emperor Strikes Back, Besiktas & Fenerbahce slip up
Fatih Terim got his fourth stint in charge of Galatasaray off to a flying start with an emphatic 3-1 win over Goztepe.
The visitors from Izmir actually took the lead thanks to Adis Jahovic who now has 14 goals and two assists in 16 games this season.
Gary Rodrigues equalised, Yasin Oztekin took the home side ahead and Maicon scored an incredible free-kick to wrap up all three points.
Maicon has scored more goals than any other defender in the league. In fact he has found the back of the net more than most strikers.
The victory will give the Lions a huge moral boost. After dropping eight points, falling behind Basaksehir, sacking Igor Tudor and calling a presidential election the club looked in turmoil. But if anyone can as far as Galatasaray is concerned Terim can.
Basaksehir beat Kasimpasa in the mini Istanbul derby. Abdullah Avci’s boys are first. They finished last season as runner-up but nobody appears to be taking their title challenge seriously.
Besiktas who are still the bookmakers favourites to retain the title meanwhile continue to stutter. The Black Eagles lost 2-1 to Sivasspor. In all fairness the reigning champions only have themselves to blame. After squandering chances and not making the most of their pressure Sivasspor sucker-punched them late on. The Istanbul giants have the winter break now to regroup and work out how they are going to break down tricky defensive sides like Sivasspor who are adept at parking the bus.
Winter is coming and it hits nowhere harder than the central Anatolian plateau where Sivas is located. The Yigidolar have moved into 8th place and will be difficult to dislodge from now until spring at home.
Fenerbahce also slipped up away to Konyaspor drawing 1-1 against the relegation battlers.
Trabzonspor’s win streak was brought to an end in a 1-1 draw against last placed Karabukspor.
Kayserispor who have also been in the mix at the top suffered a 1-0 loss to Malatyaspor who beat Galatasaray last week.
In yet another topsy turvy week Galatasaray and Basaksehir were the obvious winners but it is worth underlining that just 6 points separate the top six. Goztepe and Kayserispor could struggle to keep pace with the leading pack. Expect Trabzonspor and Bursaspor to mount a serious top-four challenge in the second half of the season.
As for Besiktas, Galatasaray, Basaksehir and Fenerbahce… all four sides still have everything to play for.