Fenerbahçe beat Galatasaray 2-1 in nail-biter Turkish Süper Lig derby
The victory in the tense game was Fenerbahçe’s first league win in five games and came at a time coach Vitor Pereira and club chairman Ali Koç were under immense pressure.
Kerem Aktürkoğlu scored the first goal of the night at Galatasaray’s Nef Stadium in the 16th minute when Romanian winger Olimpiu Morutan whipped the cross from the right flank to assist the young player, who finished from close range.
Former Arsenal and Real Madrid star Mesut Özil leveled the game 15 minutes later, successfully converting a one-on-one with the home side’s goalkeeper Fernando Muslera after sprinting half the pitch to catch a ball by İrfan Can Kahveci on a counterattack.
Fenerbahçe was reduced to 10 men in the 82nd minute when defender Marcel Tisserand was shown his second yellow card and hence a red card for a foul on Aktürkoğlu.
Galatasaray found a goal with a header from Senegalese forward Mbaye Diagne a minute later, but it was disallowed following a VAR (Video Assistant Referee) decision for a foul on Fenerbahçe’s Mergim Berisha.
Portuguese midfielder Miguel Crespo da Silva sealed the victory for the visiting side in the dying minutes of the game when he sent the ball past Muslera to the down left corner on a counterattack.
Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim also received a red card after arguing with the referee in the stoppage time, while the game saw a total of 10 yellow cards, including one against Fenerbahçe coach Pereira.
With the victory, Fenerbahçe climbed to the fifth spot with 23 points while Galatasaray remained in the eighth spot with 21.
Galatasaray chairman Burak Elmas said after the game that he would complain to the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) about the poor referring standards in the game.
“Tonight’s performance of the referee is not simply about not being in form,” he said. “It was obvious that slowing down Galatasaray at home, sending its coach off were parts of a plan.”
Pereira, on the other hand, was delighted with the victory.
“I’m proud with my players,” said the Fenerbahçe coach.
“We, as the team, are a family. Being a family means sticking together. If we stand tall as a family, if we stick together as the staff, the players and the fans, we will be the champions at the end of the season.”