Bilic's 'socialist' Beşiktaş maintains 100 percent record with Gaziantepspor victory
Beşiktaş lead the Super League with 9 points in three games. Kardemir Karabükspor is second with 7 points, followed by Kasımpaşa and Fenerbahçe, each totaling 6 points. AA photo
Beşiktaş on Sept. 1 consolidated its first position in the Turkish Super League with a 2-0 victory over Gaziantepspor at their exile of Atatürk Olympic Stadium.
A brace from Hugo Almeida in the first half and strict tactical discipline were key to maintaining the Black Eagles’ 100 percent record ahead of a crucial visit to the tough-nut Bursaspor and the mouth-watering derby clash against archrivals Galatasaray.
Following the game, Coach Slaven Bilic expressed his satisfaction with the result, saying that he aimed to infuse the players with a collective mentality. “The team’s philosophy is ‘power to the people.’ There are no rich or poor here. No classes. That’s why I can say that I am endeavoring for a socialist team,” Bilic told reporters.
The Portuguese international opened the score in the 28th minute with a spinning shot from the penalty spot after yet another assistance of his compatriot Manuel Fernandes.
Almeida doubled the score in the 34th minute with a penalty kick while Beşiktaş fans were performing their symbolical Gezi protest chant, following a foul committed on Fernandes on the edge of the area. Gaziantepsor players protested the referee’s decision arguing that the foul was not inside but outside the area.
The Istanbul side’s young talent Muhammed “Mami” Demirci, introduced in the game during the second half, came close to finding his first official goal in the last minute of regular time. The 18-year-old midfielder, chased by many big European clubs while he was playing in the Beşiktaş’ youth squads, sent a curling free-kick which the goalkeeper could only watch as it bounced back from the right post.
In the end, it was mission accomplished for Bilic’s players who now sum nine points in three games and managed to advance on pitch in Europa League by knocking out rivals Tromso 3-2 on aggregate, despite being later suspended following the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) ruling on UEFA’s match-fixing ban.
Fenerbahçe destroys Sivasspor
Rivals Fenerbahçe, which shared a similar fate by also being knocked out of the Europa League after the CAS ruling, rose to third place destroying Sivasspor 5-2 in Istanbul on Aug. 31.
Dirk Kuyt (2), Bruno Alves, Pierre Webo and Alper Potuk embittered Roberto Carlos’ return to Şükrü Saraçoğlu stadium as Sivasspor new coach. Brazil’s legendary right back received an ovation from the tribunes of Fenerbahçe where he played for two-and-a-half seasons.
Aatif Chahechouhe and Cicinho scored for the “Yiğidos.”
After the game, Fenerbahçe coach Ersun Yanal reacted strongly against the Turkish media for reporting rumors that players such Moussa Sow, who was not called up for the game, and Raul Meireles had asked to leave the club. “It’s been a short time that I came here, but I am tired of dealing with false news that someone is leaving the club every day. What we did today is a rotation. Please, perceive it like this,” Yanal told reporters.
Yanal also said that the Yellow Canaries, who disappointed until Sivasspor game, should not be satisfied with the big win but continue to improve. “If we want to stay in the race, this should not be enough,” he said.
On Aug. 30, title-holders Galatasaray settled for a goalless draw against Eskişehir in Fatih Terim’s first game on the bench after a nine-game ban handed out at the end of last season.
The Lions sum five points in three games and remain in the fifth position.
The Turkish Super League takes a one week break due to World Cup qualifying games. Turkey will host Andorra on Sept. 6 before the decisive clash against Romania in Bucharest on Sept. 10.