Beşiktaş kills title hopes of archrivals with derby win
AA photoSpor Toto Turkish Super League defending champion Beşiktaş defeated archrival Galatasaray 1-0 in a tight derby game late on Feb. 27 to give it a giant step toward a second consecutive championship.
The game saw no goals in the first half, as both sides were cautious. The hosts were the slightly more attacking outfit, with contributions from winger Armindo Bruma and German striker Lukas Podolski.
However, flamboyant Portuguese attacking midfielder Anderson Talisca’s deflected free-kick deceived goalkeeper Fernando Muslera in the 47th minute, giving the Black Eagles a vital lead.
Following the goal, Beşiktaş adopted a more defending stance, responding strongly to problems posed by Dutch international Wesley Sneijder and Bruma.
Galatasaray’s new coach, Igor Tudor, who handed Beşiktaş a 2-1 loss just two weeks ago with his former Karabükspor, respectively replaced Sneijder, playmaker Selçuk İnan and winger Yasin Öztekin with newcomers Mendes Rodrigues, striker Eren Derdiyok and former Hertha BSC midfielder Tolga Ciğerci, who was heavily criticized for missing a chance when he stepped on the ball and stumbled in the 70th minute. Podolski was also grilled by fans for missing a shot from inside the box in the 82nd minute.
Galatasaray otherwise found no other ways through the Beşiktaş defense in the second half, while the Black Eagles also occasionally took control with a solid passing game.
“We played against a team that was set up with good players and that took the [Galatasaray] fans out,” Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş said after the game.
“This was a do-or-die game for them. [For us], it’s the match of week 22. The league would continue whether we had won or lost. Still, I am proud of my players because they won the derby,” he said.
Güneş said his side managed to play a defensive game with attacking players. “This was a good test for me.”
A disappointed coach Tudor said after the game that a draw would have been a fair result. “It was a lucky free kick to decide the game,” he said.
With the victory, Beşiktaş increased its points haul to 50 and continued its lead atop the league, four points ahead of second-placed Medipol Başakşehir, which managed to beat Osmanlıspor 1-0 in Ankara over the weekend.
Başakşehir will take on Aytemiz Alanyaspor on Feb. 5, one day after Beşiktaş hosts Çaykur Rizespor.
Galatasaray, meanwhile, remains in third spot with 40 points.
On Feb. 26, Fenerbahçe failed to halt its poor run of form and dropped two more points, drawing bottom-placed Gaziantepspor 1-1 to remain 12 points behind Beşiktaş.