Fenerbahçe beats Trabzonspor to put troubles on hold
The visiting side’s Greek midfielder Dimitris Pelkas scored the winner in the 76th minute when his long-range shot on a counterattack beat Trabzonspor goalkeeper Uğurcan Çakır.
Trabzonspor took risks in search of an equalizer and came close to a goal when Jorge Djaniny’s header in the area in the 83rd minute hit the post.
The victory, Fenerbahçe’s second in its last four league games, took the Istanbul club to 54 points, three points behind leader Galatasaray, and on level with second-placed Beşiktaş.
The win also may have ended a slump for the team that started with a loss at home to archrival Galatasaray four weeks ago.
Fenerbahçe coach Bulut, whose player choices and tactics have been a hot topic among supporters recently, sounded relieved to see some of the pressure off.
“Big teams playing for the title sometimes get depressed after even only one defeat, as we did,” he said after the game.
“Fenerbahçe goes on the pitch to win every match. Sometimes we cannot, and we lose points. But there are still 14 league matches left, and the team with the most points will win the title. God willing, it will be us,” he added.
Fenerbahçe’s next fixture is in March against Antalyaspor, which held Başakşehir to a goalless draw on Feb. 27 for its fifth draw in a row.
Midfielder Mert Hakan Yandaş and defender Serdar Aziz will not be available for Fenerbahçe, serving automatic bans for receiving their fourth yellow card.
Beşiktaş, which grabbed a commanding 3-0 win against Denizlispor on Feb. 26, will take on Malatyaspor in mid-week action on March 3.
First-half goals by Cyle Larin, Vincent Aboubakar and Adem Ljajic gave Beşiktaş its third win in a row as it continued chasing the leader with one less game played.
Galatasaray, on the other hand, is on an eight-game winning streak and enjoying a robust performance from Egyptian forward Mostafa Mohamed, who joined the team in the winter transfer window.
Mohamed scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Erzurumspor on Feb. 27, increasing its goal tally in the league’s top five goals in as many games.
The leader next plays cellar-dweller Ankaragücü on March 3.
Both Ankara teams in the league are going through rough times, with Gençlerbirliği, ahead of a game at Gaziantep on March 2, sitting in the 20th spot one point ahead of its city rival.
Elsewhere in mid-week games, Erzurumspor hosts Karagümrük, Başakşehir plays Konyaspor, Hatayspor visits Sivasspor and Kayserispor takes on Rizespor at home on March 3.
In March 4’s games, Alanyaspor entertains Göztepe and Trabzonspor visits Kasımpaşa.