Fenerbahçe enjoys consecutive wins after nightmare start
HÜRRİYET photoLast year’s Spor Toto Super League runner-up Fenerbahçe has returned to its winning ways with two consecutive victories following a historically bad start.
Fener’s Dutch manager Dick Advocaat said it was a well-deserved win, regretting that his side failed to improve the cushion despite many chances after Emanuel Emenike broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute with an assist by Dutchman Jeremain Lens.
“We have to learn lessons from this,” Advocaat said after the game.
An encouraged Gaziantep was back on the pitch in the second half and Nabil Ghilas found the back of the net 10 minutes before the end of regulation time, making use of a defensive mistake to equalize matters.
A poor reaction to the goal by Gaziantep manager İsmail Kartal, a former Fener player and coach, triggered reactions on social media.
Six minutes later Fener took back the lead on another assist by Lens, his fourth assist in the first five games of the league following two others against cellar dweller Kasımpaşaspor last week, when Fener won 5-1.
In the first three weeks of the league Fener lost twice and drew once.
However, a confident Advoccat said victories come at the end of the season.
The win meant a lot for the Yellow Canaries in a week when leader Başakşehirspor drew 2-2 against Osmanlıspor a day earlier, as city rivals Beşiktaş and Galatasaray, which closely follow the dark horse, also drew 2-2.
Advocaat will be on opposite benches from one of his old charges, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, when his side hosts Feyenoord in the UEFA Europa League group match on Sept. 29.
The two teams met at the 2002-03 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round some 14 years ago and the Dutch team completed a 3-0 aggregate success.
Robin van Persie – then of Feyenoord, now at Fenerbahçe – was an unused substitute in this game, making the bench for the first time in a UEFA Champions League fixture.
He might still be on the bench, since Adcocaat said at the press conference that he did not think the “flying Dutchman” was ready physically.