Beşiktaş fans celebrate title early after rival Fener’s slump
AA photoBeşiktaş fans hit the streets in Istanbul and many other Turkish cities late on May 9, as the team is now on course to take their first Turkish Super League title since 2009 after sole challenger and rival Fenerbahçe slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat to Medipol Başakşehir.
“That year is this year,” title-thirsty fans were chanting in the heart of Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district, home for the Black Eagles.
With just two season games remaining in the next week, Beşiktaş leads Fenerbahçe by six points, with the latter holding a head-to-head advantage.
Beşiktaş now just need to win one point in their next match at home to Osmanlıspor on May 8 to win a long sought-after title, while their goal difference advantage also makes it almost certain they will be champions.
Desperately seeking a win away to fellow Istanbul side Başakşehir, Fenerbahçe came up short, increasing expectations their embattled Portuguese manager Vitor Pereira will not be here next season.
Bosnian international Edin Visca scored twice for the host Başakşehir in the 60th and 65th minute.
Netherlands striker Robin van Persie, a big money summer signing from Manchester United, missed a penalty in the 76th minute to bring Fenerbahçe back into the game and a goal in the 80th minute from Mehmet Topal only proved to be a consolation.
On May 8 Beşiktaş had piled the pressure on Fenerbahçe with a critical derby win against Istanbul rivals Galatasaray, with a second half strike by Mario Gomez of Germany proving decisive.
Gomez, taken up on a loan deal from Fiorentina for at least this season, has proved the most outstanding player in a glorious season for Beşiktaş, which last month also moved back to their historic home on the shores of the Bosphorus in a brand new stadium.
Gomez has scored 25 league goals so far.
The championship would mark the 14th time Beşiktaş have won Turkish football’s top prize and give the club Turkey’s sole automatic pass into the Champions League.