Fenerbahçe fails to impress in first game under new coach
Fenerbahçe’s hopes of a quick recovery following a coach replacement faded on Dec. 17 when the Istanbul club was held to a 2-2 draw at home by Erzurumspor in a Spor Toto Super League game.
The draw came in a week that saw four other games ending in draws, including the one between leader Başakşehir and title hopeful Galatasaray.
In its first game under coach Ersun Yanal, Fenerbahçe failed to maintain a two-goal lead in the second half and surrendered to points to the visiting side with a goal in the dying minutes of the game.
The Istanbul club remained in the 17th spot in league standings, one spot above cellar-dweller Rizespor.
Yanal, who was also in charge of Fenerbahçe in the 2013-2014 season and led the club to the league title, said after the match that the squad needs time and will perform much better in the second half of the league competition.
Fenerbahçe travels to Antalyaspor next weekend for its last game before the league’s winter break. The competition will resume on Jan. 19-20 weekend.
“The supporters were excited, hopeful about the tempo and ambition of the team,” Yanal told a post-game press conference.
“Whatever happens, Fenerbahçe should not concede two goals in a game it went 2-0 ahead. What was important tonight was the enthusiasm of my plates. We could not get the score, but I want to say that this will become a good team and reflect the ambition to win to the pitch in every game.”
Yanal said with the return of injured and suspended players, and moves to be made in the winter break, Fenerbahçe will be a “different team” in the second half of the league title race.
“We will not deal with excuses, the past is over,” he said. “We will take the necessary lessons [from the past], but we are trying to manage the upcoming period. We will never disappoint Fenerbahçe fans and we will present to them the Fenerbahçe they want to see.”
Başakşehir stays atop
While the fight against relegation remains tight, Başakşehir extended its stay atop the standings despite a 1-1 draw at home against Galatasaray on Dec. 15.
Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor played another draw in Istanbul on Dec. 16, when Beşiktaş scored twice in the second half to come from two goals behind.
Malatyaspor beat Antalyaspor 2-0 to claim its second league victory in a row and climb up to the second spot.
Kasımpaşaspor’s slump continued with a 3-2 loss at Konyaspor and the team dropped down to the sixth place.
Alanyaspor was held to a 1-1 draw at Rize and Akhisarspor lost 1-0 at Kayserispor, with both teams moving closer to the relegation zone.
Elsewhere, Ankaragücü lost 4-0 at Sivasspor and Göztepe was held to a goalless draw at home by Bursaspor.