Can the derby victory ignite a Beşiktaş resurgence?

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Updated: February 27, 2018

Beşiktaş have come away with an important victory on Sunday against archrivals Fenerbahçe in the Istanbul derby, 3-1 at fulltime despite the Yellow Canaries leading the match 0-1 at halftime.

With a painful defeat at the hands of FC Bayern München in the Champions League last Tuesday, 5-0 at the Allianz Arena, Beşiktaş were looking for redemption and with Fenerbahçe coming to the Vodafone Park the perfect opportunity presented itself to do just that.

However, the visitors were the ones who took the lead early on in the firs thalf. Nabil Dirar was sent through on the right and crossed the ball in to the area, Fabri push the low cross away but couldn’t clear it properly. Giuliano saw his opportunity to score, with the Beşiktaş keeper caught out of goal, but Domagoj Vida cleared his shot off the line but couldn’t prevent Fernandão from tapping in the rebound from an offside position, 0-1 after just 8 minutes on the clock. A dramatic start, made even more painful by the failure of the linesman to see the obvious offside – with Fabri caught out of his goal Fernandão was effectively 79 cm offside at the time of Giuliano’s shot, despite Vida taking position ont he goalline, there wasn’t a second outfield player keeping the Brazilian onside and therefore the goal should have been disallowed.

Beşiktaş were a bit rattled but managed to establish dominance after that as Fenerbahçe decided to sit more and more back. The Black Eagles came closest to equalising the match with Ricardo Quaresma dribbling Isla before putting in a sublime Trivela shot, but Carlos Kameni came up with an equally sublime save to keep the visitors in front at halftime.

Things were looking good for Fenerbahçe with that halftime scoreline, should they hold on to it they could deal the reigning Turkish chamipons a serious blow in their title aspirations while they themselves would settle themselves at the top of the table.

Quaresma’s phenomenal Trivela decided the Istanbul derby on Sunday.

But it didn’t take Beşiktaş long to level the scoreline as Domagoj Vida beat Carlos Kameni with a thunderous header following Gökhan Gönül cross on a short taken corner.

Fenerbahçe’s best chance int he second half came not too long after said equaliser when Fabri made a poor clearance as he rushed out of goal to prevent Fernandão a goalscoring opportunity, Şener Özbayrakli tried his luck with lob as Fabri was caught out of his goal but Gary Medel cleared with a header in front of the goalline as Fabri was scrambling to get back.

Beşiktaş continued to press for a winning goal, but it wasn’t until Álvaro Negredo came on that the Black Eagles started to develop some serious pressure, first the Spaniard tested Carlos Kameni with a header of his own, while in the 77th minute he would play a key role in what would be Beşiktaş’ liberation. Chasing after a loose ball, Negredo somewhat fortunately disposed of Josef Souza before squaring the ball wide to Ricardo Quaresma on the right wing. Quaresma killed the ball as he prepared to take on Mauricio Isla, but instead of dribbling the Chile International, he bend a Trivela around the sideback aiming for the far corner. This time Carlos Kameni wasn’t equal to the shot as Quaresma sent the Vodafone Park in delirium.

But the festivities woudln’t end there as once again Álvaro Negredo got on the end of a loose ball deep in to added time as Atiba Hutchinson won an aerial duel in midfield from Mehmet Topal. Negredo waited until the perfect moment to play Ricardo Quaresma through on goal and, from a tight angle, the Portuguese magician managed to squeeze his second of the night past Carlos Kameni, putting the 3-1 final score on the board.

With a successful Champions League campaign came a sputtering league record, but now that Beşiktaş’ European campaign is coming to an end, can this derby win ignite a resurgence for the Black Eagles in the league? They find themselves just 3 points short of the top and have everything in their own hands. Should Beşiktaş win their remaining 11 league games, they would be guaranteed a third consecutive title. However, the same goes for rivals Başakşehir and Galatasaray – who both find themselves sharing first place with 47 points. Fenerbahçe are on level points with Beşiktaş, both have 44, but with the better head-to-head record Beşiktaş have the advantage over them should they end on level points.

This derby win is exactly what Beşiktaş needed, however there is little time to rest on their laurels as they play Fenerbahçe again on Thursday in the Turkish cup semi-finals for the first leg, while they travel away to Trabzonspor on Monday in the league.

Kaan Bayazit
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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
I've been covering Turkish football and Beşiktaş in particular for several years. Followed the Süper Lig closely for over a decade. Frequent guest on the Turkish Football Weekly podcast. I've also done various media interviews concerning Beşiktaş in many different countries, from Costa Rica to The Netherlands. Born and raised in Belgium. Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International since 2013.
Kaan Bayazit
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