Galatasaray wins at Fenerbahçe to end 20-year jinx
Max Kruse put Fenerbahce in front of a penalty kick that was confirmed by VAR, but Dutch defender Ryan Donk equalized for defending league champion Galatasaray in the 39th minute off a header in the box from a corner.
With both teams trading chances, the tempers exploded in the 77th minute after Henry Onyekuru was taken down on the left side of the box. VAR confirmed that decision as well and former Radamel Falcao powered the penalty in to give Galatasaray the lead.
Five minutes later, as Younes Belhanda was coming off the field as a substitution, a scuffle that he started with Deniz Türüç ended with both players getting sent off.
In the 89th minute, Fernando Muslera dived to make an outstanding save on a powerful free kick from Mehmet Ekici. Eight minutes later deep into the stoppage time, Muslera played provider as his long pass from inside the box found Onyekuru in space and the Nigerian dribbled forward, rounded Fenerbahçe goalkeeper Altay Bayındır and scored before going into a slide celebration in the corner.
The victory was Galatasaray’s first against its archrival since a 2-1 win on Dec. 22, 1999.
Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim, who was also at helm of the club in 1999’s victory, said he did not much care about such statistics.
“This statistic in not very important for me as long as we win the trophy at the end of the season,” he told a post-game press conference.
“I am happy for Galatasaray’s fans, who wanted to see a win here. It is important for Galatasaray to win the Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray derby wherever it is played.”
Terim added that the result has also positively affected the club’s position in the standings.
“It is not only three points for Galatasaray supporters. This score is also important to increase the energy and confidence of the players,” he said.
Remarks on Fenerbahçe came from assistant coach Volkan Kazak after coach Ersun Yanal was sent off by the referee in the 66th minute.
Kazak slammed referee Halil Umut Meler, arguing that he was “biased.”
“The referee’s [controversial] decision is still under discussion. Galatasaray’s Ryan Donk fouled to Serdar Aziz in the penalty area and the video assistant referee [VAR] was not used for this penalty position. Donk must have been sent off with a red card,” he said.
Amid rumors of a resignation, Kazak said Yanal would talk to the media members on Feb. 25.
Elsewhere in Week 23 games in the Süper Lig, leader Trabzonspor grabbed a 2-2draw at Beşiktaş.
Trabzonspor’s Alexander Sörloth scored the opener in the fifth minute, while the home side pulled one back when German forward Kevin-Prince Boateng put the ball in the net in the 57th.
Beşiktaş defender Domagoj Vida put his side ahead in the 64th minute, but the Istanbul club could not hang on to the lead and Sörloth scored his and his team’s second goal in the dying minutes.
Also in Week 23, Sivasspor beat Antalyaspor 1-0 at home, Kayserispor and Konyaspor shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw, Göztepe was held to 1-1 home draw by Gaziantep, Antalyaspor won 2-1 at Malatyaspor and Gençlerbirliği beat city rival Ankaragücü 1-0 in an Ankara derby.