Pride, passion and fascinating stories from Asia Minor
And then it happened...with two strikes of Umut Bulut’s right boot, Trabzonspor were propelled to the top of the league, displacing Bursaspor, and opening a chasm of 10 points between themselves and their defeated visitors Galatasaray.
Cimbom have since been written off as title challengers, while Trabzon continue to improve under Senol Gunes.
Last year’s cup winners have shown an unusual amount of consistency in reaching the top with victories over Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray – all teams who have proved stumbling blocks to them in previous seasons.
However, their time at the top may be short lived with a trip to Bursaspor this weekend.
The Crocodiles are in desperate need of a win amid a dip in form that has seen them draw their last two games, with question marks over their strength in depth beginning to arise.
An impressive 48 goals between them so far this season suggests the clash between the top two should be a corker, with two Turkish legends coming face to face in the dugout.
It's all movement at the moment and third place Kayserispor could temporarily steal top spot if they claim all three points in Friday night’s game at Konyaspor.
Kayseri missed out on the chance to go ahead of Bursa after a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Genclerbirligi.
In Istanbul the mixed fortunes of the Big Three continue. Cimbom’s loss at Trabzon keeps them in ninth while Besiktas, and in particular Guti, suffered an embarrassing weekend after failing to beat Kasimpasa.
With just three points all season, Kasimpasa have cemented themselves to the bottom of the league but took the lead at the Inonu Stadium with Ersen Martin’s header.
A deflected Ismail Koybasi shot put Besiktas level but Kasimpasa keeper Tolga Ozgen had the last laugh as he saved Guti’s penalty in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
As the blog noted last week, Pasa manager Yilmaz Vural is touch line viewing at its best and didn't disappoint, kissing referee Bulent Yildirim’s hand after the full time whistle.
While Vural has saved his job for another week, the pressure on Bernd Schuster continues to build.
Besiktas have just four points from their last five league games and are in danger of losing touch with the front runners.
While the return of Ricardo Quaresma will help ease some of the pain, with just six games left until the winter break (and the blogs holiday), the Black Eagles can ill afford to drop anymore points.
On the other side of the Bosphorus, Fenerbahce powered past Eskisehirspor thanks to two goals from Semih Senturk who, as I type, has taken his tally to four in three games with a goal against Ankaragucu in the cup.
With thick mist limiting visibility on Saturday, both sides were forced to play the second half with 10 men after an altercation between card happy Diego Lugano and Sener Ozturk in the tunnel provided each player with an early bath.
More worryingly for Aykut Kocaman was the sight of Emre limping off. The injury prone midfielder has been in fantastic form this season but could be out for up to a month with reports suggesting a ‘deep tear’ in his hamstring.
I guess some things just never change.
Latest European Football News
Footballers' underage prostitute trial adjourned to 2014
Larsson makes comeback but son gets the goal
Hearts enter administration and docked 15 points
Anzhi banned from playing at home in Europe once again
Sa Pinto quits as Red Star coach
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010