Turkish League Wrap 22: Game Over? or will Basaksehir have the last laugh
The Turkish League Week 22 saw reigning champions Besiktas extend their lead at the top of the table after beating Galatasaray in the Istanbul derby. Fenerbahce slipped up again while Basaksehir returned to winning ways.
Galatasaray had the chance to close the gap with Besiktas to four points at the Turk Telekom Arena. Igor Tudor took charge of his first game at home in what was the Lions biggest game of the season.
Tudor managed to patch things up with Bruma who he dropped in his first game against Caykur Rizespor last week as the Portuguese winger returned to the starting line-up. However, the Croatian manager seem incapable of going a week without a bust-up. This time Cavanda, Sinan Gumus and Linnes were mysteriously left out of the squad.
From a pure footballing perspective the derby was hardly a spectacle and it took a wicked deflection from Benfica loanee Anderson Talisca to open the scoring early in the second half from a free-kick.
Saying that, for a side that simply had to win to get back in the title race with the added bonus of playing at home, Galatasaray did not do enough. It is difficult to pin too much of the blame on Tudor considering he has only been in charge for two games but his decision to take off Sneijder when the Lions most needed a goal raises question marks over his judgement.
Anderson Talisca – who else – opens the scoring with a very fortunate deflection in the Istanbul Derby! Beşiktaş lead against Galatasaray! pic.twitter.com/5dcQzxUU6o
— Turkish Football (@Turkish_Futbol1) February 27, 2017
Meanwhile Fenerbahce’s season went from bad to worse as they failed to beat last placed Gaziantepspor. The Yellow Canaries were held to a 1-1 draw on the road.
All is not well on the Asian shores of Istanbul. Head coach Dick Advocaat has looked increasingly rattled in his press conferences. The team seem to be losing the plot and the fans have started turning on the board.
Fenerbahce have fallen 12 points behind league leaders Besiktas and it would take a miracle to get back in the title race at this stage. The Canaries cannot however, afford to simply give up as Antalyaspor and Trabzonspor are breathing down their neck in pursuit of a lucrative 4th place spot which would guarantee European competition football.
Luckily for Fenerbahce Antalyaspor were on the wrong end of a 3-0 loss against league strugglers Akhisar and Trabzonspor were held to a 1-1 draw away to Konyaspor. The Besiktas victory may have been ‘Game Over’ for Galatasaray and Fenerbahce in the title race but keeping with the video arcade theme Basaksehir managed to ‘Insert Coin’ and get back in the game after returning to winning ways against Osmanlispor.
Who would have thought it? Basaksehir are in the title race 22 weeks into the Super Lig campaign.
Super Lig Talking Points
- Besiktas lead both Galatasaray and Fenerbahce by 10 points or more for the first time in the league since the 1987-88 season
- Besiktas have won seven of eight games that have featured Anderson Talisca being involved in a goal. The Brazilian star who has attracted interest from Liverpool lately has been involved in seven goals in his last eight league games – six goals and one assist.
- Galatasaray have failed to win any of their last seven derbies in the league and Sneijder appeared to fall out with Tudor after being substituted off.
- Fenerbahce have drawn three back-to-back league games in the league for the first time since 2007 when Zico was manager.
- Basaksehir won their first away game after six matches being unable to record a victory on the road
- Chelsea loanee Kenneth Omeruo scored his first goal of the season in Alanyaspor’s 4-2 win over Adanaspor
Rizespor 2-4 Kayserispor
Kasimpasa 4-0 Bursaspor
Alanyaspor 4-1 Adanaspor
Akhisar 3-0 Antalyaspor
Konyaspor 1-1 Trabzonspor
Karabukspor 1-0 Genclerbirligi
Osmanlispor 0-1 Basaksehir
Gaziantepspor 1-1 Fenerbahce