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Tuesday, 24 January 2012 22:00

Almeida at the double as Besiktas win five-goal thriller

Besiktas 3-2 Gaziantepspor

Hugo AlmeidaPortuguese striker Hugo Almeida continued his fine run of form with a brace this evening as Besiktas left it late in a thrilling encounter at the Inonu Stadium.

Having ended his goal-scoring slump last week, Almeida has now scored in each of his last three games for the Black Eagles, who now sit just one point behind leaders Galatasaray but having played a game more than their city rivals.

The match had showed potential from the outset to be an intriguing game, with both sides only a final pass away from exacting the game’s first goal during the opening quarter hour.

Simao and Manuel Fernandes in particular looked up to the challenge and displayed better chemistry than in recent matches, an important factor in making up for the absence of Ricardo Quaresma.

Almeida profligate

Almeida, on the other hand, was keen on revealing why it is so difficult for many Portugal fans to accept him as a member of the Seleccao by creating and squandering numerous chances, including a one-on-one effort that Gaziantepspor keeper Zydrunas Karcemarskas did well to beat away at his near post.

Besiktas fell behind in the 41st minute when an unmarked Elyasa Sume headed in a cross from the right. The exasperation at the lack of potency in front of goal was palpable across the stadium, and it perhaps served as an inspiration for the Black Eagles in the second half.

Just two minutes after the restart, Almeida finally stumbled upon the finish he had been desperately searching for. Simao’s pinpoint cross from the right reached him unmarked at the back post, and this time he made no mistake.

Cards a-plenty

The physicality of the match increased noticeably after the equalizer, and by the end of the night, 12 different players on both sides had seen yellow.

Despite boisterous home support, the visitors reclaimed the lead in the 67th minute after some poor defending by the Besiktas back four. Carlos Carvalhal looked on in frustration as it appeared that the chance at earning all three points had been lost.

However, after more missed chances, Almeida resurfaced to slide home a pass across the face of goal from Manuel Fernandes.

With only four minutes left to play, it appeared that the home team would have to settle for only a share of the spoils, but Korkmaz paid for an earlier defensive mistake by smashing home a loose ball in the penalty area after a Fernandes free kick in the last minute of stoppage time. The goal sparked wild celebrations in the stadium and on the sidelines, where Carvalhal sprinted down the touchline in his very best Jose Mourinho impression.

Besiktas play two of their next three matches on the road, including a crucial derby tie with Fenerbahce.

by Nathan Motz

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Comments (8)
8 Monday, 30 January 2012 22:12
fernandes play a very good football, i think the management must give a chance to put some more thriller for besiktas.
7 Wednesday, 25 January 2012 18:00
It's always hard to tell gauge how well a player is playing if they are playing in a league like the Turkish league. That's not to say the league isn't good, but the real test is when these teams from smaller leagues play teams from bigger leagues and unfortunately, the result is not often promising.
Looked good
6 Wednesday, 25 January 2012 07:54
It looked like a good game. Fernandes seems to be settling in just fine. If he keeps playing like this he has to get a call up to the NT.

heres the games highlights:
5 Wednesday, 25 January 2012 02:55
we love you carvalhal you the best you have a great personality
4 Wednesday, 25 January 2012 00:10
Fernandes is a great player, it's his attitude and on-field mistakes let him down.

He can score a goal, then lose the ball because instead of passing, he tries to dribble etc. He can also have a hot-head.
Clinical finishing
3 Tuesday, 24 January 2012 23:53
...from Almeida. He was unmarked but still made excellent contact with the ball. Definitely goals worth a second look. As for Simao, I wish he didn't retire because he's still got it.. probably because Nani was taking over the starting position and he didn't want to call it time as a bench player but Simao is such a smart, experienced, simple player but so effective. Some games we can say C.Ronaldo or Quaresma go missing but Simao stays consistant and that pass was right on Almeida's head. Just perfect.
2 Tuesday, 24 January 2012 22:55
I've come to watch quite a few Besiktas matches since the Portuguese have started moving there and I must say that Fernandes is a very good player. I don't know why he hasn't been called up again after that screamer against Cyprus and his amazing form for Besiktas. He is a great crosser, great passer, good dribbler, chips in with goals, decent defender and really just an all around playmaker. With the need for a third midfield player (although not so much with Veloso playing well) I don't understand why he was never called up. Simao is still a quality player as well, I wish he was still on the NT.
Manuel Fernandes
1 Tuesday, 24 January 2012 22:47
From what I've read, Manuel Fernandes is having an excellent season in a more advanced midfield role. In the past for Valencia and the Seleccao, he's been used as a holding midfielder, but while he is athletic and strong in the tackle, his attacking instincts take him way out of position. In a free, box-to-box role, Manuel Fernandes is beginning to utilize all of his strengths.

Manuel Fernandes is an excellent player and when healthy, I could definitely see him take Raul Meireles' spot on the seleccao. I have always been a fan of Meireles, even a few years back when many on this site would bash him. He had a great season with Liverpool and he has been one of the most consistent performers for the seleccao, but this season for Chelsea, he has had a very quiet start.

Instead of commanding the ball and orchestrating the midfield like Xavi or Joao Moutinho, Meireles has taken up a very anonymous role in the heart of Chelsea's midfield. He has worked hard off the ball and he can make the simple passes, but he has lacked his signature runs of deep and impressive passes. He seems to lack confidence when playing for Chelsea and that worries me.

In my opinion, Manuel Fernandes offers a lot more than Meireles. He is a much better tackler, he's quicker, more athletic, better technically, and he also has an excellent shot. If I were Bento, I wouldn't drop Meireles just yet, but I would definitely consider using Fernandes in a more advanced, box to box role.

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