Galatasaray extends cushion at top to six points

Galatasaray extends cushion at top to six points

Galatasaray extends cushion at top to six points

Turkish Super League leader Galatasaray extended its lead to six points over its closest rivals after beating Konyaspor 2-0 away from home, while Beşiktaş was defeated by struggling Gençlerbirliği.

“I feel lucky to have these players with such character,” said Galatasaray coach Igor Tudor after the game late on Oct. 14.

“We have a team hungry to win,” Tudor added, stressing that now it is time to prepare for a home derby against archrival Fenerbahçe on Oct. 22.

Konyaspor coach Mustafa Reşit Akçay said Galatasaray’s “problem-solving players” put their mark on the game.

Bafétimbi Gomis scored two goals in the second half of the game, including a penalty in the 75th minute.

Gomis shares top spot in the league’s scorers list with Adis Jahovic of newcomer Göztepespor, which climbed to the second spot after beating Antalyaspor 3-1 away.

Last year’s runner-up Başakşehir beat Alanyaspor 2-1, bringing it also to 16 points.

Başakşehir is due to visit Beşiktaş on Oct. 23.

The Oct. 14 win handed Galatasaray its best league start in the last 12 seasons, collecting 22 points in its first eight games, with no losses and only one draw. The team has scored 20 goals and conceded six.

Meanwhile, Galatasaray also made history with another statistic: Becoming the first Turkish team to go onto the pitch with 11 foreign players since the first season of professional football in Turkey in 1959.

“We are marching toward the league title and we have a great atmosphere in the team,” said Galatarasaray’s Brazilian player Fernando Reges.

Defending champion Beşiktaş, meanwhile, was defeated 2-1 by Gençlerbirliği in Ankara in the opening game of the week on Oct. 13.

The win helped Gençlerbirliği move from the bottom of the league, though it remains in the relegation zone.

“We came here to win but our performance was below par. We started slowly and got tired in the second half as we only had 10 men on the pitch. It was not one of our better nights,” said coach Şenol Güneş.

Beşiktaş’s Dutch forward Ryan Babel, who entered the game at half time, was sent off after just three minutes.

The Black Eagles have struggled in all away matches this season, with just one win, one draw and two losses so far.

All eyes will again be on Beşiktaş on Oct. 17, when it takes on Monaco in the Champions League group stage after bagging two wins in its first two games.