Galatasaray in turmoil after home loss
ISTANBULThe Galatasaray administration and technical staff were in hot water on Feb. 13 after the Istanbul club suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to Kayserispor, its second loss in three league games.
Larrys Mabiala and Levent Gülen scored one goal each in the first half for the visiting side, with the home side’s consolidation goal coming from Eren Derdiyok one minute from the final whistle.
With the loss, Galatasaray remained stuck in third place on 39 points, failing to cut the gap with leader Beşiktaş in a week when all title contenders dropped points.
The home loss prompted reactions from supporters, who called for the sacking of coach Jan Olde Riekerink and the resignation of the club board.
Galatasaray chairman Dursun Özbek on Feb. 13 attempted to calm the situation.
“Yesterday’s result disappointed all of us, but we should recover immediately,” he said at a press conference. “Galatasaray is still in the title race. There may be mistakes, but that will not stop us working for success.”
Özbek called for “unity in the Galatasaray community.”
“Galatasaray is a united whole with its players, executives and supporters. Nothing has been lost yet, I call on our community to unite. I believe the results will be good for Galatasaray,” he said.
Özbek added that the club board had not discussed any names to replace Riekerink.
“The names in the reports do not come from us. But we cannot ignore the reaction of our supporters. Our job is to make them happy, to give them the championship trophy,” he said.
Despite its win against Galatasaray, Kayserispor remained in the relegation zone on goal difference. The Central Anatolian club has garnered 19 points in 20 games, eight of which came from its games against title hopefuls Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe. The club won one and drew one in its two games against both clubs each this season.