Pride, passion and fascinating stories from Asia Minor
Call me a pessimist, but with Sunday's Besiktas/Fenerbahce derby being billed as the ‘Super Derby’, this blog couldn’t help but think it was going to be a letdown. Boy was I wrong!
Using the words of wise old Markus Merk on Lig TV, tweed jacket ‘n’ all, Fenerbahce’s 4-2 win at the Inonu Stadium was "The best match of the season so far. End-to-end entertainment and a game that will be remembered for a long time."
Alex De Souza’s second half hat-trick put Besiktas to the sword and completed a miserable week for the Black Eagles following their 4-1 humbling at home to Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League.
It had all looked so good for the home side when *** Dag and Ibrahim Toraman cancelled out Necip’s early own goal.
With the score at 2-1, Hugo Almeida had an incredible chance to put the game beyond doubt. Lacking all the composure in the world, the Portuguese striker struck his shot close to Volkan who got down low to palm it away. Would Fenerbahce have come back from 3-1 down? Highly unlikely.
However, while Almeidas’s chance could have changed the game, Matteo Ferrari actually went and did it.
The Italian defender had spent most of the previous sixty minutes almost wrestling with Diego Lugano in an attempt to stop the centre back getting on the end of any set pieces.
However, following his lucky escape minutes earlier, Ferrari took it one step too far and was rightly shown red after a strong right elbow. Alex’s penalty put Fenerbahce back on level terms and on their way to a sixth consecutive league win.
An eventful day at the Inonu was topped off with reports that tables were broken inside the director’s box. Handbags were also out in the Besiktas dressing room following the game, although the blog feels that could have just been Guti showing off his selection of man-bags.
If Fenerbahce’s win at Besiktas was good, Gaziantepspor’s win at Bursaspor was spectacular.
Just last week, yours truly gave a special mention to the boys at Antep who have not lost in the league since December, and continued their rise with a 4-1 win at the current league champions.
Tolunay Kafkas looks to have unearthed a new gem in the form of 19-year old Cenk Tosun. Having joined in January from Frankfurt, the striker is already making a big name for himself with four goals in four games. An international call up is reportedly just around the corner and, following his brace at Bursa, Antep will surely have to fight off the big boys when the transfer market re-opens this summer.
Speaking of big boys, Trabzonspor showed they are still just that - coming back from a goal down to beat in form Manisaspor on Monday night.
With Fenerbahce temporarily above them, Senol Gunes will have had a job on his hands convincing his players that they still deserve top spot.
Jimmy Dixon’s header put Manisa ahead however, Trabzon are top for a reason, and Umut Bulut’s goal early in the second half restored confidence before Alanzinho’s 85th minute strike sent the visitors wild.
All this kerfuffle means Trabzon maintain their two point lead over Fenerbahce, who in turn stretch their lead over Bursaspor to three points.
I warned you this title race would be going all the way, and if this weekend is anything to go by, it’s going to be one you don’t want to miss out on!
Eskisehirspor’s young striker Batuhan Karadeniz is making a name for himself as a bit of a bad boy. A Turkish version of Mario Balotelli, if you like.
Having already lost his driving license, run away from pre-season camp, argued with police and caused mayhem in bars, Batuhan was most recently fined a club record 60,000TL for his red card against Bursaspor.
So what does the 20 year old do? He goes out and buys himself a Lamborghini, of course!
Turning up to training in his new toy, the ‘superstar’ quipped "I only use two gears because I don’t have enough money for the petrol." Kids, eh?
RESULTS Besiktas 2-4 Fenerbahce, Galatasaray 1-0 Bucaspor, Bursaspor 1-4 Gaziantepspor, Manisaspor 1-2 Trabzonspor, Kayserispor 2-0 Antalyaspor, Konyaspor 0-0 Istanbul BB, Genclerbirligi 2-3 Karabukspor, Kasimpasa 2-1 Ankaragucu, Eskisehirspor 2-1 Sivasspor.
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