Turkcell Super League – Week 20 review
Week 20 of the Turkcell Super League could be the week where the standings could be shaken up. It featured a top of the table matchup that could vault one team to the top of the table, or the other team into serious contenders for the league championship. Kayserispor hosted Galatasaray in the match of the week on Saturday. Fenerbahçe looked to continue their lead in the standings as Diyarbakirspor came into town. The week got started on Friday, as Beşiktaş looked to inch closer to a Europa League spot by facing Gençlerbirliği.
Inching closer to a Europa League spot, Beşiktaş looked to gain three points over Gençlerbirliği. Beşiktaş was without the services of their manager Mustafa Denizli for this match. Assistant coach Tayfur Havutcu took over for this match and kept the same lineup that Denizli had from last week’s match against Antalyaspor. It seemed to work as in the 33rd minute, Tomas Sivok scored off a pass from Bobo to put Beşiktaş up 1-0. Beşiktaş came out with more pressure in the second half. However, Gençlerbirliği got an unexpected equalizer in the 52nd minute. Hursit Meric shot the ball from long distance, and the ball went by Rustu Recber that tied the match for Gençlerbirliği 1-1. Beşiktaş would take the lead for good within the last 11 minutes of the match. In the 79th minute, Rodrigo Tabata advanced the ball to near the penalty area, and passed to Filip Holosko. Holosko’s pass found Bobo, and Bobo’s shot went into the back of the net to make it 2-1, leaving Gençlerbirliği goalkeeper Serdar Kulbilge flat-footed, helplessly watching. In the 81st minute, Tabata made a run towards goal again. His pass, intended for Yusuf Simsek, was intercepted by a Gençlerbirliği defender. Simsek stole the ball, passed the ball to Holosko, and Holosko put it in the back of the net to put Beşiktaş up 3-1. The 87th minute saw Beşiktaş be awarded a corner. The ball would eventually end up at the feet of Rodrigo Tabata. Tabata shot the ball from a tight angle, but the ball went into the net to make the score 4-1 to Beşiktaş. The 4-1 score ended up being the final result and Beşiktaş crept closer to that guaranteed Europa League spot.
Galatasaray travelled to Kayseri to play Kayserispor at the Kadir Has stadium. With an ankle injury that Jo suffered during the Turkish Cup match earlier in the week against Antalyaspor, along with Harry Kewell and Milan Baros on the sidelines due to their injuries, Galatasaray would have to cope with no true center forward for this match. Arda Turan had to fill in at the central forward position. Giovani dos Santos started and the off-form Servet Cetin was on the bench, giving Emre Gungor a chance in the central defense alongside Lucas Neill. The central defense pairing did their job, as Ariza Makukula was shut down for the entire match. The leading scorer in the Turkcell Super League seemed to look lost. In the 15th minute, Franco Cangele’s free kick barely missed the target and went out. In the waning minutes of the first half, Abdul Kader Keita’s cross found Mustafa Sarp. Sarp headed the ball in the direction of Arda Turan, but Turan shot the ball over the bar and out. Things got complicated for Kayserispor to get the win in the 64th minute, as Hakan Aslantas picked up his second yellow card of the match and was sent off. Elano missed a chance in the 73rd minute, as his shot was blocked by a Kayserispor defender and out for a corner. Galatasaray had their best chance in the 89th minute, as Emre Colak found himself one on one with Kayserispor goalkeeper Hamidou Souleymanou. Souleymanou came up with a crucial save. One minute later, Abdul Kader Keita’s header went over the bar and out. The match ended up as a 0-0 draw. Galatasaray continues to struggle scoring, and without a true center forward, scoring may be hard to come by, especially with their Europa League matches with Atletico Madrid coming up. Galatasaray gets the bye week next week since Ankaraspor would have been next on the schedule, so this will give them some time to sort out their forward situation
With Galatasaray’s draw against Kayserispor, Fenerbahçe looked to gain some breathing room in the standings against Diyarbakirspor. Diyarbakirspor had other ideas, as they looked to avoid the relegation zone. Gustave Bebbe’s shot in the 8th minute went off the crossbar, leaving the Fenerbahçe defense in confusion. In the 41st minute, Ozer Hurmaci advanced into the penalty area from a pass from Semih Senturk. Getting pass two Diyarbakirspor defenders left Hurmaci alone against Diyarbakirspor goalkeeper Gokhan Tokgoz , but Tokgoz made the save from Hurmaci’s attempt. In the 58th minute, Emre Belozoglu lost the ball and Thierry Tazemeta went on the counterattack. Volkan Demirel had to come out and clear the ball, leaving Fenerbahçe breathing a sigh of relief. Diyarbakirspor took a shock lead in the 83rd minute. Ayman Abdelaziz’s shot from about 25 meters away from the goal curled away from Demirel’s outstretched hands and gave Diyarbakirspor a shock lead. With that, Diyarbakirspor played the last minutes of the match with ten men behind the ball, content to let Fenerbahçe attack and hold on for the win. It would come back to haunt them, as in the 90th minute, a free kick from the right flank ended up being headed into the goal by Andre dos Santos to salvage the draw for Fenerbahçe. The match ended up as a 1-1 draw, and Fenerbahçe will be under pressure next week to beat Manisaspor on the road. They will have to do so without Mehmet Topuz. His red card in the fourth minute of stoppage time, for grabbing the throat of an opposing player, will leave the midfielder out next week (Note: the TFF has now made his suspension two matches since then). Galatasaray will have the bye, and the free three points, so Fenerbahçe will have to be on their game in order to keep their lead in the standings.
Other results from week 20 were as follows: Eskişehirspor 2-1 Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor, Sivasspor 2-0 Denizlispor, Kasımpaşa 2-2 Antalyaspor, Ankaragücü 0-0 Bursaspor, and Trabzonspor 3-0 Manisaspor. Gaziantepspor picked up the three free points due to Ankaraspor’s disqualification. The top five in the standings didn’t change. Fenerbahçe continues to lead with 44 points, Galatasaray in second with 43 points, Bursaspor is third with 39 points and a +19 goal differential, Kayserispor in fourth with 39 points and a + 16 goal differential, and Beşiktaş in fifth with 38 points.