Title contenders make perfect start to
second half of Turkish League
Four title contenders in the Turkish Super
League have made a perfect start to the second half of the
season, as challengers Göztepe and Anatolian underdog
Kayserispor failed to leave their mark in the title race.
Galatasaray defeated Kayserispor 3-1 late
on Jan. 22 in a game that came two days after the Istanbul team
received a new chairman in an extraordinary congress.
The Lions, who were visiting Kayserispor,
comfortably kept their second spot on the standings despite
lacking prolific striker Bafetimbi Gomis and attacking
midfielder Younes Belhanda.
Galatasaray’s Switzerland international
Eren Derdiyok scored two goals in six minutes to give his team a
comfortable 2-0 lead after 18 minutes.
Kayserispor managed to find the net in the
52nd minute when former Galatasaray striker Umur Bulut’s header
bypassed goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. But the visiting team
Galatasaray managed to ward off Kayserispor’s comeback chances
with a counter-attack that ended with Garry Rodrigues netting a
pass from Badou N’Diaye inside the penalty area.
“We have achieved nothing, but ending the
week with three points was important,” said Galatasaray coach
Fatih Terim after the game
“It wouldn’t have been appropriate to have
lost to our rivals,” he said.
The energy-sector businessman and former
bureaucrat Mustafa Cengiz narrowly beat former Galatasaray chair
Dursun Özbek on Jan. 20 to claim the seat.
Galatasaray is still one point behind
league leader Başakşehir, which trounced Bursaspor with a 3-0
away victory on Jan. 21, rising to 39 points. Başakşehir’s new
player Arda Turan scored his team’s third goal after replacing
regular Marcia Mossoro in the 65th minute.
The newly signed Arda did not play much in
the past year at Barcelona, Başakşehir coach Abdullah Avcı said
after the game.
“It’s great for us and him that he has
made a start with a goal. He will add very important things to
our team as he integrates his great talent into our system,”
Defending champion Beşiktaş also grabbed a
hard-fought 2-1 away victory on Jan. 21 over Antalyaspor, to
remain alone at the fourth spot with 33 points. Portuguese
attacker midfielder Anderson Talisca scored a goal to give his
team three points after falling behind.
On Jan. 20, Fenerbahçe defeated Göztepe
2-1, thanks to a last-minute goal from Spanish striker Roberto
Soldado, allowing the team to secure its spot at number three in
Istanbul’s Kasımpaşa beat Alanyaspor in
the opening game of the week on Jan. 19. Ankara’s Gençlerbirliği
beat Karabük 2-0 away on Jan. 20, while Osmanlıspor remained
just above the relegation line with a goalless draw with
Malatyaspor at home
On Jan. 21, Sivasspor drew 1-1 with
Akhisarspor before signing a surprise contract with one-time
wonder kid Robinho, who played for Manchester City, Milan and
Real Madrid during his heyday.
Trabzonspor drew 2-2 with Konyaspor on