Beşiktaş beats Fenerbahçe, taking league lead
DHA photoBeşiktaş ended the club’s Istanbul derby jinx and beat Fenerbahçe 3-2 on Sept. 27 to climb atop Spor Toto Super League standings.
Mario Gomez scored twice for the Black Eagles with Simon Kjaer netting an own goal, while Fenerbahçe’s Dutch star Robin van Persie again came off the bench to score, but his fourth goal for the club and an own goal by Dusko Tosic were not enough for the visiting side at Istanbul’s Olympic Stadium.
Beşiktaş has lost six of the eight derbies played in the past two years, while drawing the other two, under coach Slaven Bilic, who flew to the Premier League’s West Ham United this summer to become a giant killer there. Sept. 27’s victory was the first derby win for the club since March 3, 2013. It also gave Beşiktaş, which has 13 points out of six games, the top spot in the league standings, ahead of Fenerbahçe who also has 13 points.
“It was a difficult match, but we beat the leader and became the new leader,” Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş said after the game. “If we had lost, Fenerbahçe would have gained an advantage, but now we are level. A close race is on for the league title,” the former Turkey national team coach added, also expressing his gratitude to his players for their hard work and the fans “for their extraordinary support.”
Fenerbahçe’s Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira, who was severely criticized for his decision to start Fernandao on the offensive line instead of van Persie, defended his decision.
“I have very good players and a qualified squad,” he said at a post-match press conference. “I was happy with all the players who went on the field tonight. We have a lot of coming games, and this is the way we try to manage the squad,” he said.
Pereira added that he was “proud” of his team’s performance despite the loss.
“We dominated the game from the first minute until the final whistle. I believe that we have had an underserved loss. Why did we lose, you analyze,” he told reporters.
Also in the Spor Toto Super League over the weekend, Galatasaray clinched its first home victory, 2-1, against Gaziantepspor on Sept. 26, now sitting two points behind Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe.
Ankara’s Osmanlıspor, which beat Trabzonspor 3-1 on Sept. 26 at home despite losing Musa Çağıran to a red card in the 45th minute, is tied with Galatasaray for points.
Another Ankara club, Gençlerbirliği, continued its slump, losing 1-0 at Akhisar Belediye on Sept. 26, while cellar-dweller Mersin İdmanyurdu again failed to clinch its maiden victory of the season, losing 2-0 at Torku Konyaspor on Sept. 27.
Antalyaspor, meanwhile, was held at a 1-1 draw at home with Sivasspor on Sept. 27.