Turkish League Round Up 21 – Fenerbahce Topple Basaksehir But End Up Doing Rivals Galatasaray A Favour

Jeremain Lens

The Turkish league title race became a little clearer over the weekend. The top-four are beginning to break away from the rest of the pack. There is however, just four points seperating leaders Galatasaray from fourth-placed Besiktas.

The Super Lig Round 21 kicked off with Besiktas torching Karabukspor 5-0. As expected the league leaders made light work of the bottom-placed side. Anderson Talisca was on fire yet again, scoring another brace, his third in 2018. The Brazilian attacking midfielder now has 14 goals in all competitions – including four in the Champions League.

The 1.91m tall star even managed to pull off a free-kick curl that Roberto Carlos would be proud of to score his second goal.

The Black Eagles will take on Konyaspor next on Friday. Another convincing win will do their confidence the world of good heading into the Last 16 first-leg clash against Bayern Munich on 20 February.

With Besiktas overtaking Fenerbahce, the Yellow Canaries were under pressure to get a result against league leaders Basaksehir.

See More: 10 Greatest Beards in Football

Now it is worth noting that despite being unbeaten since most of us can remember, Fenerbahce fans have not been pleased with the Aykut Kocaman’s brand of football. It lacks a little ‘je ne sais quoi’. The fans demand a more aesthetically pleasing style that reflects the perceived strength of their squad. What is clear is that, while not pretty, Kocaman’s methods get results.

Fenerbahce dismantled Basaksehir, making them look very ordinary. It was too easy at times. Kocaman made brilliant use of Fernandao as a battering ram up front and the Istanbul giants found so much room between the lines, exploiting the home sides vulnerabilities.

The 2-0 win saw Fenerbahce move into third place and close the gap with Basaksehir to just two points.

Kocaman had however, inadvertently given arch-rivals Galatasaray the gift they were looking for.

The Lions responded to last weeks shock 2-1 defeat to Sivasspor with a convincing 3-0 win over Antalyaspor with a brace from Bafetimbi Gomis and a goal from Sofiane Feghouli. There was a moment of madness just before the final whistle as Younes Belhanda needlessly got himself sent off.

The defeat of Basaksehir saw the top-four point gap narrow. It presented a glorious chance for the chasing pack to make up lost group but Kayserispor, Trabzonspor and Goztepe all drew.

A five point gap has now opened up between fifth-placed Kayserispor and Besiktas. Goztepe and Trabzonspor have now gone five weeks without a win. Out of the three I only see the Black Sea Storm as having the stamina to potentially push for a top-four spot.