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Wednesday, 14 December 2011 22:12

Fernandes stars as impressive Besiktas top group

Manuel lFernandesBesiktas 3-1 Stoke City

Besiktas finished the Europa League group phase with a smashing win over 10-man Stoke and will progress into the round of 32 as Group E winners. 

Carlos Carvalhal was without the services of Ricardo Quaresma, who sat out with a knee injury, but his side was boosted with the knowledge that only a draw was required to take them through to the next round. Manuel Fernandes and Hugo Almeida both started for the Black Eagles.

Besiktas began the game in inspired form and subjected Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic to target practice for much of the opening half. Almeida and Fernandes both had early chances for Besiktas and were unlucky to see their efforts go wide.

Stoke were reeling and Besiktas continued to pile on the pressure, dominating possession and peppering the Stoke City goal with shots. Stoke finally managed to fashion a decent counterattacking opportunity, but Cameron Jerome’s shot was beaten away by Rustu Recber.

Almeida comes close

Almeida nearly scored a fantastic opener after Holosko had chested down a long pass from out of the defense. The Portuguese striker let the ball bounce then took it cleanly on the half volley, once again bringing the best out of Begovic.

The opener came entirely against the run of play on 28 minutes. On a rare foray into Besiktas’ half of the pitch, Ricardo Fuller found some space and his shot from 25 yards took a huge deflection that completely wrong-footed Recber and ended up in the back of the net.

Fernandes had a late 30-yard effort turned away by Begovic, but Besiktas would go into the half wondering how they had contrived to fall behind. 

All action Manuel Fernandes

Besiktas began the second half slowly but eventually found the goal that had mysteriously eluded them. An outstanding pass from Fernandes set up Almeida, who was hacked down in the box by Matthew Upson just as he was about to shoot. The referee wasted no time in pointing to the spot and showed Upson a deserved red card for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. Fernandes sent Begovic the wrong way, much to the relief of the frustrated home crowd. 

Fernandes nearly scored a second minutes later with a spectacular effort that Begovic somehow managed to keep out. Carvalhal replaced the tiring Almeida with Edu in the 73rd minute and from the ensuing corner, Besiktas scored the second goal that their performance richly deserved courtesy of a Pektemek header.

Besiktas continued to advance and in the 82nd minute found the killer goal they had been looking for when Edu ripped a shot into the top right-hand corner.

The Istanbul based club will take confidence from having topped a difficult group and will now avoid more difficult opposition when the draw takes place in Nyon on Friday. 

by Nathan Motz
Comments (10)
Paulo Jorge
10 Thursday, 15 December 2011 20:07
Another player who should definitely receive a call up from Bento is Apoel's Paulo Jorge. Yes I know he plays in Cyprus, but he has arguably been the best defender in the Champions League. He is a very strong defender and a true leader. He can definitely compete with Rolando, Sereno, and Ricardo Costa for a place on the Euro 2012 squad.
Fernandes vs Meireles
9 Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:47
I agree that if he were to compete against anybody it would be Merieles. He is best when given the freedom of a box-to-box role. Meireles has been one of the most consistent players for our national team for years now so I doubt that he'll lose his place anytime soon.

However, in my opinion, Fernandes at his best gives us much more than Meireles at his best. Fernandes and Meireles are both hard workers and their passing is both very good, but Fernandes is faster, better at dribbling, and a lot better at tackling. Fernandes, like Meireles, also has an excellent shot from distance.

If Fernandes can stay fit and continue to play at a high level, he may challenge Meireles for the starting spot on the national team in the future, but for now, Meireles will be one of the first names on Bento's team sheet.

Joao Moutinho is up there with Xavi, Schweinstiger, and Xabi Alonso as one of the best central midfielders in Europe and along with Ronaldo and Pepe, he is the most important player on the seleccao.

As his back-up, I would chose Andre Santos, another supremely talented midfielder for the future.
Manuel Fernandes
8 Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:46
Fernandes deserves a shot in the upcoming friendlies. Meireles form has dipped since he joined chelsea and i think fernandes is a more skilled player in every area. Fernandesalso adds height to a relatively short midfield. Id like to see him get a shot in England.
@Mateus Florida
7 Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:12
Yes it is.

Júlio Alves got sold by Rio Ave to Atlético Madrid in the summer but was immediately sold to Besiktas without playing a single game for Atlético.

Looked a great prospect last season. One to keep an eye on.
Besiktas in Romania?!
6 Thursday, 15 December 2011 11:21
My favourite team in Romania is Dinamo Bucharest and i wish Besiktas to defeat Steaua! I will be very happy!!! I love Besiktas and of course Ricardo Quaresma! Forca Besiktas!
re Mehmet
5 Thursday, 15 December 2011 05:34
Is that that the Julio brother of Bruno Alves?
Jon I completely agree!
4 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 23:26
I was actually thinking about saying this first time, but just didn't bother lol. But I love Fernandes for his skill and obvious ability like the pass/shots he made in this game, but also the goal that Stoke scored Fernandes was the one that lost the ball to them. Admittedly it was a bad pass to him from the left back because he was under pressure from two players so maybe the left back shouldn't have passed it to him there, anyways Manuel got a leg to it to try and control it, but he lost it, then Fuller scored. To me this sums up my love/hate of Fernandes! Because this to me has been his whole problem throught his whole career - he'll make brilliant plays, passes, dribbles, shots; but sometimes he seems to want to hold on to the ball too long, and sometimes loses it; and like you said Jon sometimes he goes up alot and doesn't get back leaving the midfield open to counter attacks. To me Fernandes is a very great player, but he just needs to not try to do too much. If he can be tactically disciplined and keep his play as efficient and effective as possible, he can be one of the best midfielders in the world! I would still call him up though, because he still deserves it. I think he has matured and become alot better. And like Mehmet said he didn't lose the ball once in this game (maybe besides the turnover to the goal) but I think he should still be called up! Bento is good at getting the players to play as a team and for the team so I think he could bring the best out of Fernandes as well! Even as a sub I would still like to see him back in the National team!
Manuel Fernandes
3 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 22:50
He definitely is a very talented midfielder, but it will be difficult for him to make the Euro 2012 squad. We have few attacking midfielders and defensive midfielders, but we are blessed with some excellent central midfielders. Joao Moutinho, Raul Meireles, Miguel Veloso, Andre Santos, and Manuel Fernandes are all great players. Fernandes is a better defensively than Veloso, but he makes way too many forward runs which leaves us with no cover (4-4 draw with Cyprus). Fernandes is excellent when he is given a free box to box role, but Moutinho and Meireles are currently ahead of him in that position.
Happy for Fernandes!
2 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 22:46
I always liked him! Happy that he is doing well in Besiktas. I would like Bento to call him up for the national team. He doesn't have to be a starter, because the trio of Veloso, Meireles, Moutinho are already great, but Fernandes brings undeniable quality and can be a great sub/backup! He can bring alot to our team and should be brought back into the fold!
1 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 22:32
Absolutely amazing performance by Fernandes. I watched the whole game, and against the physically strong Stoke side he hasn't lost the ball a single time. He mopped the floor with every Stoke player, including Palacios. Simply untouchable.

Another thing of Fernandes, he provided the assist at Pektemek's goal. Fernandes gave 5 assists in his last 5 games for Besiktas. Besiktas always scores with a header when Fernandes plays. Set pieces are his trademarks. He puts them in with such poison.

Julio Alves, who only played like 5 minutes in the past for Besiktas came on at the 75th minute. Assisted Edu's goal.

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