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Monday, 27 February 2012 00:41

Quaresma shines but Besiktas beaten in Istanbul derby

Galatasaray 3-2 Besiktas

Ricardo QuaresmaIn yet another exciting rendition of the Istanbul Derby, Besiktas’ courageous efforts were undone by defensive frailty, and the Black Eagles were made to concede a vital three points, all but surrendering the Super Lig title.

Besiktas headed into the match in rather poor domestic form, having seen victory in only one of their last five Super Lig encounters and languishing ten points behind their bitter crosstown rivals. Manager Carlos Carvalhal decided to give Hugo Almeida the start alongside fellow Portuguese Simao and Ricardo Quaresma, having relegated the Portuguese striker to the bench for both Europa League matches against Braga.

The visitors started the game with little resolve and all too often were guilty of relinquishing possession in their own half. In spite of their ineptitude, they endured surprisingly few threats from the hosts during the opening ten minutes of the game.

That changed in the 15th minute, however, when a combination of extremely poor defence and determination from Eboue saw the Ivory Coast international clean through on goal. The fullback’s unselfish pass from the right was met with a strong finish off the underside of the crossbar by Johan Elmander, setting off rapturous celebrations inside the Turk Telekom Arena.

Fernandes absence felt

As the half wore on, Besiktas began to find a few openings on the counterattack, but without Manuel Fernandes, who was not even in the line-up, they were unable to find the killer pass. Ricardo Quaresma in particular was wasteful in possession and as a result Besiktas struggled to find the quality to break down their opponents.

Besiktas started the 2nd half with more intent and were level after only four minutes of play. Ricardo Quaresma sprinted into the penalty area and his cross was fortuitously deflected straight back into his path, allowing him to roll the ball to Ibrahim Torraman, who slid the ball into the back of the net.

After a poor first half, it was a vital goal and perhaps should have inspired the Black Eagles to continue on and take the lead. Frustratingly, the Besiktas back four lost concentration again by allowing Felipe Melo on to a chipped pass, and the Brazilian midfielder had no trouble picking his spot past keeper Cenk Gonen to restore Galatasaray’s one goal lead.

Albert Riera should have made it 3-1 in the 68th minute after making space for himself with some fine footwork, but the Spaniard’s shot just clipped the top of the crossbar and bounced over.

Quaresma makes goal again

Despite being outclassed for much of the game, the Black Eagles again found an equalizer in the 73rd minute when Quaresma’s cross was deflected by Semih Kaya into the back of his own net.

Besiktas continued to press for more but struggled to create any good chances. As time began to run out, it appeared that the visitors would have to settle for a draw. Then fate intervened in the cruellest of fashions.

Almeida fluffs match-winning chance

In the 89th minute, Quaresma thundered down the right wing and, after bamboozling his marker, dispatched a wonderful cross right onto the head of Almeida, who made a complete mess of an otherwise beautiful piece of skill.

Minutes later, Galatasary stole all three points, effectively ending any chance Besiktas may have had at winning the Super Lig. Having once again let their guard down, Engin Baytar’s cross somehow found its way to Elmander at the back post, and the Swedish striker beat two Besiktas defenders to put the game on ice.

Besiktas will now be resigned to attempting to pry second place away from Fenerbahce in the Super Lig, and will also direct their attention to the round of 16 Europa League tie with Atletico Madrid next month.

by Nathan Motz
Comments (3)
3 Thursday, 01 March 2012 20:18
Thank you Portugoal.net! Forza Besiktas! Forza Portugal!
Mixed feelings
2 Monday, 27 February 2012 17:29
Thanks Brad. I was wondering that.

I was a bit disappointed to read that Almeida hasn't been starting recently and that he missed a seemingly straightforward opportunity to score. This does not bode well for the NT, but is nothing new. The striker dilemma continues. Maybe Nelson will surprise us.
1 Monday, 27 February 2012 12:22
fernandes was suspended for this game after picking up a yellow late in the last league game. Just in case anyone wonders why he wasn't playing.

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