Fenerbahçe beats Galatasaray in typically tense Super Cup game
The Yellow Canaries, Super League winners, overcame a nervy penalty shoot-out that followed a goalless and drab playing time of 120 minutes to beat Galatasaray. AA PhotoFenerbahçe beat Galatasaray in an expectedly event-filled Super Cup final on Aug. 25. The Yellow Canaries, Super League winners, overcame a nervy penalty shoot-out that followed a goalless and drab playing time of 120 minutes to beat their perennial rivals, who won the Turkish Cup. However, the game is more likely to be remembered for being another edition of demonstration of hatred between the two sides, who were renewing their century-old fierce rivalry.
The game was played in Manisa to raise funds for the families of victims of Soma, the site of Turkey’s deadliest mine disaster in May. However, the atmosphere lacked the respect demanded by those killed in the disaster, and the match was played under a hail of objects as play was interrupted multiple times due to altercations between the footballers.
The game’s point of explosion, however, came during the penalty shoot-out. After Galatasaray’s Felipe Melo shot his spot-kick over the bar, an overjoyed and eagerly excited Fenerbahçe goalkeeper jumped on the Brazilian midfielder to celebrate. The referee showed yellow cards to both players, but Volkan Demirel did not seem to calm down after the victory.
“The municipality should clean stray dogs off the streets, or it is my job to do that,” Demirel told the club’s official broadcaster, FB TV, in the dressing room. The Turkish international’s cryptic words were an apparent dig at Melo, the self-proclaimed “Pitbull,” and usually makes his on-pitch celebrations on all fours.
Felipe Melo did not make a statement, but Galatasaray was quick to call the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to demand a ban on Volkan Demirel.
“Galatasaray may win or lose, Fenerbahçe may win or lose. This is only natural. But what matters is what happened during and after the game,” Galatasaray spokesman Şükrü Ergün said. “If Fenerbahçe board members make statements which push the boundaries of good manners, his players do that. We refuse to be a part of this rudeness and they will not get an answer from us. What Volkan Demirel did is clear rudeness and there is nothing to defend. We will see if Volkan will be punished by the Turkish Football Federation and by his club for his actions and his statements.”
Muslera, man of the match
On the playing part, Fenerbahçe was by far the dominant side in a game in which the tempo was sub-par. Emmanuel Emenike had clear chances but Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera held his team in the game.
Muslera, who was named man of the match, saved two of Fenerbahçe’s penalties, from Caner Erkin and Mehmet Topuz, but he was not enough to single-handedly save Galatasaray. Fenerbahçe fans also joined the ovation in for Muslera, in probably the most positive incident of the night.
The game marked a winning start for İsmail Kartal, who took over as the head coach after the resignation of Ersun Yanal.
“What mattered today was to dictate the game and we managed to control the game for most parts of the game,” said Kartal, former assistant to coaches Yanal and Aykut Kocaman. “After doing that, we would not be disappointed even if we lost the shoot-out.”
Kartal’s opposite number, Cesare Prandelli, opened his Galatasaray account with a defeat. The Italian admitted that his side needs time and some more additions.
“We played against a champion side. They have been playing for a long time and they know how to play together,” said Prandelli, who succeeded his compatriot Roberto Mancini at Galatasaray. “We showed our character but we have our faults. We will fix them with time and will get better.”
As for possible transfers, Prandelli briefly said the club chairman “is working on it.”
Fenerbahçe starts its Super League title defense with a home game against Kardemir Karabükspor on Aug. 31, while Galatasaray will visit Bursaspor on Aug. 30 on the first weekend of the Turkish top-flight campaign.