Turkish Süper Lig title race goes to the wire
The two top contenders for the Turkish Süper Lig crown both dropped critical points against relegation battlers in Week 32 games with just two matches left in the season.
With the results, Başakşehir maintained its four-point lead over second-placed Trabzonspor, assuring that a win against Kayserispor at home on July 18 will earn the club its first-ever league trophy.
Başakşehir coach Okan Buruk was said to see the chance to be crowned the champions go away.
“Our aim was to win here and, in case our opponent lost, claim the league trophy, but unfortunately we will have to wait,” he said.
“Now we must win our next game.”
Meanwhile, Trabzonspor coach Hüseyin Çimsir has reportedly filed his resignation to the club and the club board is expected to decide in the matter in days.
While the results hurt the title contenders, they gave a great advantage to Konyaspor and Denizlispor in their fight against relegation.
With Rizespor and Malatyaspor losing their games, and on-form Kayserispor being held to a 1-1 draw by Gaziantep, both teams climbed out of the danger zone.
However, only three points separate five teams with two games to go, and two of those clubs are destined to drop to the lower division.
The fight for a European ticket is also tight, with Galatasaray suffering its third loss in a row to drop down to the fifth spot. The defending champion has now won in eight league games it has played since a 3-0 victory at home against Gençlerbirliği on March 1 and may miss out European stage next season.
Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim, who has been struggling with a squad hit by major injuries, was visibly sad after the match and had some criticism reserved for his men.
“Life shows you everything, both the team’s and my statistics have been terrible in the last games,” he told reporters.
“But I am not sad that we lost, I’m sad that [my players] have given up. I don’t like quitters. You may lose, but if you have the Galatasaray jersey on you, you must fight not to lose. Giving up is not an option.”
Beşiktaş grabbed its fourth win since the restart of the season on June 13 following a three-month break and sits in the fourth spot.
Sivasspor ended a four-game winless streak at Fenerbahçe with a 2-1 victory and cemented its place in the third spot.