Beşiktaş back on top of standings

Beşiktaş back on top of standings

Beşiktaş back on top of standings

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Defending champion Beşiktaş returned to the top of the standings in the Spor Toto Super League after beating Aytemiz Alanyaspor, a newcomer to the top tier, 4-1 in the closing game of the 18th week late on Jan 23. 

Hoping to take advantage of erstwhile leader Başakşehir’s weekend loss, the Black Eagles started with an offensive line-up and dominated the opening half, striking twice with goals from Cenk Tosun and newcomer Ryan Babel of the Netherlands. 

The Eagles’ Portuguese international winger Ricardo Quaresma added a third goal from a 48th-minute penalty-kick, but Alanya’s Wagner Love responded for the home side with his own penalty goal just six minutes later. Then, off a Quaresma corner-kick, Beşiktaş center back Marcelo Guedes closed the scoring with a well-timed header in the 76th minute as Şenol Güneş’ men went two points clear atop the Turkish Super League.

“Coming into the match, we were picked as favorites, but the team did not show much complacency and stuck to the game plan from start to finish,” Güneş said after the game.

“Nevertheless, with an offensive line-up like these, we should’ve created more chances. It’s nice to be back atop the table, but a lot of difficult matches are coming up,” he said. 

He also praised Quaresma, who finished the game with two assists. 

Alanyaspor’s acting coach Mustafa Camunak said after the game that his side tried to play a productive game against a strong Beşiktaş. 

“Our rival is keen on punishing simple mistakes and they did so,” he said. 

Alanya is now looking for a new coach. 

Beşiktaş will take on a strong Atiker Konyaspor on Jan. 30 in another closing game of the week while Başakşehir will take on Bursaspor at home in Istanbul.

Fenerbahçe, meanwhile, managed to remain in the title race with a 1-0 victory at home on Jan. 22 against Başakşehir, closing the gap on third-place Galatasaray to one point following the latter’s 2-1 loss at Kardemir Karabükspor on Jan. 21.

Galatasaray will host Akhisar Belediyespor on Jan. 28 as Fenerbahçe visits relegation-threatened Kayserispor the next day. 

On Jan. 22, Antalyaspor came from a goal down to score twice in the final minutes for a 2-1 victory at Osmanlıspor. Trabzonspor beat Kasımpaşa with a sole goal from Argentinian defender Emmanuel Mas in the 45th minute.

In Jan. 21’s games, Bursaspor lost 1-0 at home to Adanaspor, Konyaspor beat visiting Rizespor 2-1 and Akhisar Belediye was held to a goalless draw by Kayserispor.