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.    

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