Struggling Fenerbahçe fails to make winning start to second half
Fenerbahçe has moved one spot above the relegation zone on goal difference in the Spor Toto Super League despite failing to convince its fans in a draw in its first game following the winter break.
Host Bursaspor scored in the dying minutes for a 1-1 draw against the Istanbul club on Jan. 21 after Fenerbahçe’s Roberto Soldado scored for the visiting side in the 20th minute.
The draw carried Fenerbahçe to the 15th spot on goal difference, but the team was far from being convincing that the nightmares of relegation are over.
Cellar-dweller Rizespor grabbed a surprise 1-0 victory at high-flying Kasımpaşa on Jan. 21, its only second win of the season and first in an away game, and is two points behind Fenerbahçe.
Erzurumspor, which lost 2-1 at home to Konyaspor ın Jan. 19, is in the 17th spot with 16 points, and Akhisar, after losing its home game on Jan. 18 to Beşiktaş 3-1, sits in the 15th spot on the same points with Fenerbahçe.
Fenerbahçe coach Ersun Yanal, who has yet to win a league game at the helm after being brought in charge in December, acknowledged that the squad has some problems that need to be fixed, but also blamed the referee for the dropped points.
“I wish that we did not have to talk on such issues,” Yanal said after the game, referring to referee Cüneyt Çakır’s decision to allow the Bursaspor goal after reviewing it on the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system with his assistant.
“We all wish that [the VAR system] will not be debated anymore, it will be much clearer,” the coach said. “We have no solution but trust it, we will trust it. Tonight, three of the world’s most significant referees were on the pitch, I hope that no mistake was made.”
Yanal said he aims to present the fans a very different team by increasing the performances of the players.
“The luck will find you if you work hard, implement the right plans and insist on them,” he added. “We will be persistent, we will work hard and if we have problems, we will do everything to reach the Fenerbahçe standards. We will never go back. We have bad games and results when we look back, such scores will never occur again. We will look forward.”
In the title competition, Başakşehir strengthened its position with 38 points after beating rival Trabzonspor 4-2 in an away game on Jan. 20.
Galatasaray continued its pursuit of the leader in fashion by destroying Ankaragücü 6-0 at home on Jan. 19. The defending champion sits in the second spot with 32 points, and is trailed on goal difference by Malatyaspor, which beat Göztepe 3-2 at home on Jan. 19 and visits Fenerbahçe next weekend.
Also in Week 18 games in the Super League, Antalyaspor and Kayserispor shared the spoils in a goalless draw and Alanyaspor won 2-0 at home against Sivasspor.