Istanbul archrivals faced opposite fortunes in this week’s Turkish Super League showdowns as Fenerbahce lost for the first time after 15 games against Kardemir Karabukspor 2-1 while Galatasaray overcame Trabzonspor with the same score at the Turk Telekom Arena.
Intractable since their opening-day defeat to Torku Konyaspor, the league’s uncontested leaders were unable to repeat another of their epic end-games on the road against a rival determined to match the aggressive display on the field that has characterized the Yellow Canaries since the beginning of the season.
The Iron Miners opened the score in the 13th minute with the Nigerian striker Jospeh Akpala, who sent the ball into the net after his first shot deflected off the goalkeeper Volkan Demirel.
His compatriot Emmanuel Emenike equalized in the 40th minute, sending home a through pass from Christian Baroni. The Nigerian international didn’t celebrate the goal against the team where he became a revelation, carrying it to the Super League in 2010.
However, Karabuk struck back in the 69th minute when Ilhan Parlak scored the second after a penalty awarded for a handball by Caner Erkin.
Despite the defeat, Fenerbahce stays comfortably on top with 38 points, seven more than Kas?mpasha, second with 31 points.
Galatasaray meanwhile, seized the opportunity to reduce the difference of points to eight after edging Trabzonspor 2-1 with a brace from Burak Yilmaz.
The Lions overcome another inspired performance by Trabzonspor goalkeeper Onur Kivrak, whose several big saves were not enough to prevent the Black Sea Storm’s defeat.
Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera also made one key save in the 59th minute, deflecting Paulo Henrique’s header from inside the area after a superb cross by the young talent Yusuf Erdogan.
Yilmaz made it 1-0 only one minute later, culminating with a goal an aesthetic one-two play between Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder. Trabzon’s Olcan Ad?n tied the game in the 66th minute, but a lucky play gave back the lead to Galatasaray as Y?lmaz signed his second goal of the night.
Roberto Mancini’s men are third over the fourth place Besiktas, who sum 29 points after their 4-1 victory against Elazigspor. Trabzonspor remain 8th at 24 points.