Pride, passion and fascinating stories from Asia Minor
Ah, Valentine’s Day - as depressing for some as it is heart-warming for others. However, while this blogger may have been left empty handed on Monday, I knew there was one love who wouldn’t let me down, the Turkish Super Lig - and in true Valentines style it was a weekend full of tiffs, heart-break and of course love!
Fenerbahce provided every male fan with a present that no partner could provide in the form of three points and a fourth consecutive win.
The players handed out roses prior to the match to show their true love and appreciation – feelings they failed to show towards their quickly dispatched opponents!
Mama Niang opened the scoring with his 12th goal of the season in just the second minute. Eighteen minutes later it was love at first sight for Diego Lugano and the back of the net as he headed home from Alex’s corner to seal the game before half time.
Fener’s form will have pleased Aykut Kocaman who spent the week negotiating a contract extension for club captain Alex. The Brazilian signed a two year bumper on his current contract which will keep him in Istanbul until 2012.
All the love and happiness at Fenerbahce is bad news for city rivals Besiktas, who will be preparing to face the arch enemy this weekend and host Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League on Thursday.
Their preparations were rocked yesterday with the news that the club had cancelled the contract of captain Ibrahim Uzulmez 'with immediate effect’. Uzulmez was reported to have been involved in a half-time altercation with Ibrahim Toraman during their 1-0 loss at Ankaragucu.
Ex Besiktas winger Serdar Ozkan doing his best to hold back his smile...
The same two players were involved in a similar incident in 2008 during a pre-season tour with both players suspended at the time. It seems this time Toraman has been favoured and Uzulmez’s 11 year spell at Besiktas has come to an abrupt end.
Mind you, he won’t be fussed, given that Uzulmez translates as ‘won’t suffer’ the blog has little feeling he’ll be juuust fine!
There was a happy end to a lot of suffering for Trabzonspor who overcame freezing temperatures, and Sivasspor, to restore some much needed morale and maintain a two-point advantage at the top. After three games without a win it looked like it was going to be another day of disappointment for Senol Gunes when Yanick Kamanan levelled the scores at 2-2.
That was just one minute before Sivas proved why they are in the relegation zone by allowing Gustavo Colman to loft a pass over the defence, straight from the re-start, for Burak Yilmaz to score. Tut tut.
Second place Bursaspor became third place Bursaspor after a 1-1 draw with Eskisehirspor. Kenny Miller found himself in the wrong penalty and the wrong side of his man - resulting in Sezer Ozturk’s equaliser from the spot to cancel out Ivan Ergic’s opener.And finally...
A little mention here for Manisaspor and Gaziantepspor. With so much attention current revolving around the title race, these two teams have quietly gone about their business and now find themselves in fifth (Gaziantepspor) and seventh (Manisa). Antep overcame Galatasaray this weekend while Manisa’s 4-1 win at Antalyaspor has put them within one point of Besiktas in sixth. Well done young sirs!
RESULTS Fenerbahce 2-0 Kayserispor, Ankaragucu 1-0 Besiktas, Antalyaspor 1-4 Manisaspor, Eskisehirspor 1-1 Bursaspor, Karabukspor 1-3 Kasimpasa, Bucaspor 3-2 Konyaspor, Gaziantepspor 1-0 Galatasaray, Istanbul BB 0-1 Genclerbirligi, Sivasspor 2-3 Trabzonspor.
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