Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Elazığspor 0 Galatasaray 1: The Lions grab a win in Eastern Anatolia

In week thirty one of the Süper Lig Galatasaray faced Elazığspor at the Elazığ Atatürk Stadium and beat the Elazığ side one nil.

Last time both sides met in the league in Elazığ was back in November 2012 when Felipe Melo saved a last minute penalty against Göksu Türkdoğan. On the day the Istanbul side also won 1-0, Yekta scored his first goal of the 2012/2013 season. 

Burak gave the visitors the lead in the twenty fourth minute, Selçuk 's initial effort was latched onto by his fellow Turkish international team mate who tapped the ball past Elazığspor keeper Vanja Iveša.

The Lions did have a few chances particularly in the second half, one chance that springs to mind is when Aurélien Chedjou's headed clearance reached Wesley Sneijder who was able to break free and go on a darting run into the Elazığspor box. However, Vanja Iveša denied the twenty nine year old Dutch international from doubling his side's lead.

In the seventy first minute Elazığspor went down to ten men, referee Barış Şimşek quite rightly produced a red card to Tanju for a reckless tackle on Alex Telles.

Shortly afterwards substitute Rodrigo Tello went close from having a go from long range, his effort hit the post to the relief of Fernando Muslera, it was quite a strike from the former Eskişehirspor player.

The home side had a last minute corner,Vanja Iveša came up to try and salvage an equaliser for the Elazığ side, however, it was not to be as there was a goal mouth scramble and the ball was cleared to safety.

After a dismal performance against Kasımpaşa it was good to see Galatasaray back to winning ways, especially away from home which has be their downfall this season under Roberto Mancini. Bitter rivals Fenerbahçe were crowned this season's Süper Lig champions, the Yellow-Canaries drew with Black Sea side Çaykur Rizespor 0-0. Both Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe now have nineteen league titles respectively.

Tomorrow the Istanbul club face Eskişehirsporin Konya in the Ziraat Cup final, the game kicks off at 18:00 GMT.

GALATASARAY: Muslera (Ufuk 65 mins), Veysel, Semih, Chedjou, Telles, Yekta (Berk İsmail 87 mins), Melo, Selçuk, Hajrović (Emre 80 mins), Sneijder, Burak. 

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Kasımpaşa stun The Lions at home

In week thirty of the Turkish Süper Lig Galatasaray were left stunned as fellow Istanbul side Kasımpaşa beat the Yellow-Reds 4-0.

Only women and children were allowed to watch this one due to the fact that a lot vulgarness was used by the majority of male fans in the Intercontinental Derby with Fenerbahçe. The Yellow-Canaries also banned male fans in their last game against Rizespor at home. 

The game went pear shaped from the very start of the game, Hakan was sent off for bringing down Ezequiel Scarione. It was never a red card and prior to Hakan tackling the Argentinian midfielder, Semih was fouled by Ryan Babel who had then passed to Scarione before being fouled by Hakan. Referee Cüneyt Çakır who is known for dishing out bookings in games was quick to send off the Galatasaray left back.

Scarione stepped up to take the penalty and put the ball into the left hand side of  the goal and sent Muslera the wrong way to give the visitors the lead.

The Lions spent most of the first half sitting back and defending the constant attacks from Kasımpaşa.

Like in the the first half, the Turkish champions conceded in the early minutes, Ceyhun failed to control the ball and Scarione was in the right place at the time to intercept and pass to Tabaré Viudez, the Uruguayan striker slotted the ball past fellow countryman Muslera to make it two nil to Kasımpaşa.

In the sixty fourth minute the visitors trebled their lead, Scarione grabbed his second from beating Muslera from close range. Ceyhun was definitely at fault yet again as he failed to close down the Argentinian.

The team from the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul put the game to bed in the seventy seventh minute, former Galatasaray defender Yalçın Ayhan headed in from Viudez's corner.

This result is now Galatasaray's second worst defeat since they have moved to the Türk Telekom Arena (their first being the 6-1 thrashing against Madrid last September). The Lions will be looking to redeem themselves against Elazığspor who are sitting in fifteenth place and are point away from the relegation zone. 

GALATASARAY:Muslera, Eboué (Telles 55 mins), Semih, Hakan, Sabri, Ceyhun, Melo, Selçuk (Ontivero 72 mins), Sneijder, Umut, Berk İsmail (Yekta 49 mins).    


Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Lions once again slaughter the Green Crocodiles

Last week Galatasaray faced Bursaspor in the Ziraat Cup Semi Final at the Bursa Atatürk Stadium. A lot of Galatasaray supporters cancelled their trip to Bursa because Bursaspor were charging 800 TL (£223) for a ticket. The Istanbul club has stated that it will the pay the three supporters who made the journey to the Marmara region of the country.

The three travelling fans saw a great turn around from the Parçalı side who were 2-1 down at half-time and managed to win the game 5-2 and book their place in the Ziraat Cup final.

The home side went in front in the twenty eighth minute, Brazilian striker Fernandão headed in from close range to give the Green Crocodiles the lead.

Five minutes later Fernandão got his second, Şener came racing in from the right hand side and crossed the ball to his Brazilian team mate who spectacularly acrobatically side volleyed the ball past Fernando Muslera.

Wesley Sneijder pulled one back for the Istanbul side just before half time, Sabri played a quick pass to Burak who then found Sneijder who had positioned himself well to slot the ball passed Bursa keeper Sébastien Frey.

The Lions completely turned things around in the second half, this kind of reminded me of when Fatih Terim was in charge, as there were quite a few games where the Yellow-Reds would be trailing at half-time and then would give it their all in the second half and grab a result. 

Galatasaray equalised in the early minutes of the second half, İbrahim shielded the ball from an incoming shot and the ball made contact with his elbow and referee İlker Meral awarded the away side a penalty. Selçuk stepped up and struck the ball into the keeper's right hand side of the goal.

The Turkish champions went ahead just three minutes later, Veysel's effort was parried away by Sébastien Frey, Burak latched onto the ball and slotted in from close range. 

Burak got his second goal (and also second Ziraat Cup goal) fifteen minutes later. Sabri who was actually having quite a good game, came in from the left played a through ball to Burak, the twenty eight old year Turkish international once again tapped the ball past Sébastien Frey.

Felipe Melo converted from the spot in the seventy first minute to make it 5-2 to Galatasaray and send the Istanbul side into the Ziraat Cup final. The Lions will face Eskişehirspor in Konya on Wednesday the 7th of May (18:00 GMT). The Es-Es beat Antalyaspor 3-1 in their Semi-Final cup clash, Lamine Diarra put Antalyaspor in front just before half time, however early into the second half Scorpions' defender Emre Güngör gifted Eskişehirspor an equaliser. Former West Brom player Diomansy Kamara and former Galatasaray player Necati also scored for the Anatolian side. 

GALATASARAY: Muslera, Sabri, Semih, Hakan Balta, Telles, Veysel, Melo (Ceyhun 76 mins), Yekta (Koray 86 mins), Selçuk (Umut 71 mins),Sneijder, Burak.      


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Sivasspor 2 Galatasaray 1 : Cim Bom lose on the road yet again

In week twenty nine of the Süper Lig Galatasaray's poor away form continued as the Parçalı side lost 2-1 to Roberto Carlos' Sivasspor at the Sivas 4 Eylül Stadium.

This season's current top goal scorer Aatif Chahechouhe put the home side ahead in the seventh minute of the game, the French-born Moroccan midfielder came in from the left and played a one-two with John Utaka, Aaatif broke free into the Galatasaray box, Muslera came out and fumbled the ball which led Aatif to tap in from close range. He has scored twenty goals for the club and has made fifty appearances for the Sivas side.

Roberto Carlos' side made a habit of breaking into the final third, they had a chance to extend their lead just minutes after they had scored. Cicinho crossed in from the right, Telles cleared the ball with a diving header, however, the Brazilian's clearance went straight to Aydın who crossed the ball over to Adem; luckily for the Lions Adem's headed effort went over.

The Istanbul side sat back as the influx of Sivas attacks continued, Aydın went close for the home side, John Utaka played a lovely back heel pass to the former Elazığspor player who then made a run into the box and fired from close range, his effort was comfortably pushed away by Muslera.

Just before half time the Yellow-Reds pulled one back, Selçuk played a short corner ball to Yekta who then went on a darting run into the Sivas box and fired a venomous effort past keeper Korcan. The twenty eight year old midfielder got his second goal of the season, he previously scored against Tokatspor in the Ziraat Cup back in February.

In the second half the Sivas side went ahead once again, Aydın played a long ball through to John Utaka, Koray failed to close down the Nigerian striker who was then able run riot into the Lions' box dribble past Muslera and slot the ball in from close range. The former Pompey striker has now scored six goals this season for Sivasspor.

Lucas Ontivero was brought on for Emmanuel Eboué to give that extra added flair in midfield, one opportunity that stands out was when Yekta played a through ball to the Argentinian youngster who then drilled a low shot at Korcan, however, his effort was denied by the Sivas keeper.

The Istanbul side had a few more chances but their efforts didn't trouble Korcan, Koray went close from a headed effort near the end of the game, Koray once again denied Cim Bom and parried the ball away for a corner.

It was yet another frustrating game for Galatasaray who once again struggle away from home. The Lions face fellow Istanbul side Kasımpaşa at home; the team from the Beyoğlu district in Istanbul currently sit in fifth place. The last time both sides met at the Türk Telekom Arena was back in August 2012, on the day Cim Bom won 2-1 (Umut scored twice). Galatasaray will be looking to jump back into second place as city rivals Beşiktaş are ahead by one point (the Black Eagles are currently on 54 points).

GALATASARAY: Muslera, Eboué (Ontivero 74 mins), Semih, Koray, Telles,Veysel, Yekta, Hajrović (Emre 64 mins), Selçuk, Umut (Umut Gündoğan 81 mins), Burak.     

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Lions claw their way to victory in the Intercontinental Derby

In week twenty eight of the Turkish Süper Lig Galatasaray beat bitter rivals Fenerbahçe 1-0 at home, the Lions still have a huge task of catching up with their Asian neighbours who despite losing at the Türk Telekom Arena are ten points clear at the top.

Mancini opted for a 4-3-3 with a usual starting eleven that he uses, one exception was Hakan who played in the centre of defence with Semih.

The Parçalı side went ahead in the ninth minute of the game, Selçuk skillfully toyed with Raul Meireles and crossed the ball over to Felipe Melo, the Brazilian played a quick ball over to Wesley Sneijder who then fired in from close range. 

Sneijder could have got his second minutes later from Didier Drogba's pass. The Yellow Canaries on the other hand struggled in attack. Senegalese striker Moussa Sow had a few long range efforts, but in general they failed to capitalise with their chances. 

Things went from bad to worse for Fenerbahçe just before half time. Referee Bülent Yıldırım sent Fener skipper Emre off for sliding in on Felipe Melo. Melo's reaction was priceless as he stuck his tongue out at Emre like he does with his 'pitbull' celebration. 

The second half was similar to the first in terms of a lack of chances (both sides only had two shots on target). The bookings continued, Bülent Yıldırım was dishing yellow cards out constantly (in the second half he produced eight yellows and one red. For me this is another reason what attracted me to the Turkish game (mainly because of this derby!) the passion, the entertainment, and always one fixture you will always remember. To add to this fiery affair Melo was sent off in the eighty seventh minute of the game for arguing with Bülent Yıldırım. The former Juve player had only just returned from a suspension and will now miss another two games for Cim Bom.

On Saturday Galatasaray play Sivasspor at the Sivas 4 Eylül Stadium (17:00 GMT), the last time both sides met in Sivas was back in December 2012. On the day the Lions won 3-1, Umut scored twice and Burak trebled their lead in the second half. Roberto Carlos' side will be a difficult team to play against; the Sivas side currently sit in seventh place and have won twelve games this season so far. In contrast, Galatasaray have won fourteen. 

GALATASARAY: Muslera, Eboué (Sabri 67 mins), Semih, Hakan, Telles, Yekta, Melo, Selçuk (Veysel 85 mins), Sneijder (Koray 90 mins), Drogba, Burak.    

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Goalless in Konya: The Lions' away curse continues

In week twenty seven of the Turkish Süper Lig Galatasaray drew 0-0 against Konyaspor at the
Konya Atatürk Stadium.

Wesley Sneijder went close in the early minutes of the game from a freekick, his effort just went inches past the right hand side of the post.

Shortly afterwards the home side went on the attack, Hasan went on a one-on-one with Muslera, however the Uruguayan keeper heroically punched the ball to safety. The Yeşil Beyaz (The Green-Whites) had two more chances soon after, Angolan international Djalma came in from the right and found Ali who was in The Lions' box, the former Galatasaray player beat Hakan, however, Muslera came out and put the ball out for a corner. Their second attempt minutes later was denied by Semih, Marc Mbamba played a long ball up to Djalma, Semih reacted quickly and brushed off the Angolan striker.

Moments later Sneijder made a darting run passed the Konyaspor defenders, Burak's headed pass to his Dutch team mate caught the home side out as they had pressed into The Lions' half. Sneijder was able to run into the Konya box with ease, however his shot was parried away by keeper Charles Itandje.

Cim Bom had more chances in the second half and again went close to scoring. This time Berk İsmail going close, the nineteen year old year put his effort wide of the post. About a minute or so later, Galatasaray were once again on the attack, Sneijder found Burak on the right hand side, the Turkish international skied the ball over, it was yet again another example of how bad his finishing has been of late.

Burak went very close to redeeming himself soon after and struck a long range shot at Itandje, the ball hit the crossbar and bounced back. The ball was literally inches away from crossing the line, it was definitely his best effort in the game.

It was another frustrating draw for the Istanbul side, they slip into third place after city rivals Beşiktaş beat bottom side Kayserispor 2-1 at home. The mother of all derbies takes place tomorrow (17:00 GMT) Galatasaray face bitter rivals Fenerbahçe at the Türk Telekom Arena. This is one game they cannot afford to slip up, if the Yellow Canaries manage to win in the European side of the city tomorrow they will be even more closer to becoming this season's Süper Lig champions. One major plus for Galatasaray is that Melo will be back from his suspension, as we all know he plays a vital role in midfield. Statistically, the Yellow-Reds have a better win ratio at home compared with their away travels to the other side of the Bosphorus.

GALATASARAY: Muslera, Eboue, Semih, Hakan, Telles, Ceyhun (Hajrović 80 mins), Yekta, Selçuk, Sneijder, Umut (Berk İsmail 62 mins), Burak.

Friday, 4 April 2014

The Green Crocodiles bite back at The Lions

Galatasaray drew 2-2 against fellow Süper Lig side Bursaspor at home (Tuesday 25th March) in the Ziraat Cup semi-final. The last time both sides met in Istanbul was back in early February when Cim Bom beat the Bursa side 6-0 on the day. The Lions shot themselves in the foot in the second half with some woeful defending; Bursaspor's two goals gives them the advantage going into the second leg on away goals.

The Parçalı side took the lead in the early minutes of the game, Burak found Wesley Sneijder in the Bursaspor box and slotted in from close range past a dazed looking Sébastien Frey who simply watched the ball go into the bottom right corner of the net.

Just before half time Galatasaray doubled their lead, Argentinian defender Renato Civelli brought down Umut and referee Mustafa Kemal Abitoğlu awarded the home side a penalty. Selçuk stepped up to take the penalty and put his shot into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.

The Green Crocodiles pulled a goal back within a minute of the second half,  Şener crossed in from the right hand side and volkan converted with a headed effort. The Galatasaray defense failed to mark the former Trabzonspor player who was left open in the box and was able to head past Muslera with ease.

Bursaspor kept on breaking into the final third, however, their efforts didn't cause any problems for Muslera with the likes of Fernando Belluschi shooting off-target.

Galatasaray didn't have many chances, the only one that really comes to mind was when Hajrović (who replaced Selçuk) played a through ball to Burak, the Turkish international hit his shot directly at Sébastien Frey who parried the ball away, the rebound came back to Burak who then scuffed his second attempt. It was definitely a golden opportunity for Cim Bom to go in front and it was another example of how bad Burak's finishing has been of late.

Moments later the away side equalised, Ferhat found Bekir in the box, the former Manisaspor player's first effort was blocked by Hakan who came sliding in, the ball came back to the Bursaspor midfielder who blasted the ball into the back of the net.

It was another shocking display by Galatasaray both in terms of making chances and also failing to mark and close down the Bursaspor attacks. The Lions face The Green Crocodiles at the Bursa Atatürk on Tuesday 15th April. The other semi-final match sees Antalyaspor take on Eskişehirspor at the Akdeniz University Stadium. The Scorpions previously won 1-0 in Eskişehir, substitute Uğur scored the winner in the eighty third minute of the game.

GALATASARAY: Muslera, Sabri, Burdisso (Semih 53 mins), Hakan, Telles, Ceyhun, Sneijder, Melo, Selçuk (Hajrović 64 mins), Burak, Umut Bulut (Yekta 81 mins).