ESRA – Eagles weather Storm to maintain Super League lead

Eagles weather Storm to maintain Super League leadBeIiktaI played flawless football and cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Trabzonspor in their Spor Toto Super League derby in Konya, which left the Black Eagles one point clear at the top, on Sunday.BeIiktaI hosted the derby in the Central Anatolian city of Konya as its Innu Stadium is being reconstructed.

The fans of the Eagles filled the Konya BuyukIehir Stadium to the brim, making their side feel like home and also raising the possibility of playing the Galatasaray derby at the same venue next month. BeIiktaI coach Slaven Bilic praised the stadium atmosphere and pitch, implying that they might consider playing other home matches there again.

New Trabzonspor coach Ersun Yanal saw the first defeat after losing the war of tactics to Bilic. Veli Kavlak opened the scoring in the fifth minute, and Demba Ba added another in the 21st minute.

andldquoEveryone ran like a dog,andrdquo Kavlak said after the match to highlight the effort they put out as a team and praised his teammates, andldquoThey put on an amazing fight.andrdquo He did not hide his amazement with the atmosphere at the stadium andldquoOnce we were out on the pitch before the match, everybody looked at each other [in wonder].

andrdquoComing off the bench in the 71st minute, Cenk Tosun wrapped up the game with a third goal in the 84th minute. andldquoIt was important to remain the leaders when Galatasaray and Fenerbahe also won.

We dominated the game and deserved to win,andrdquo Tosun said in his post-game remarks. The 23-year-old thanked Ba for providing him support like an andldquoolder brotherandrdquoBilic was happy after the match and satisfied with his teamandrsquos play.

He said his team showed a andldquofantasticandrdquo performance in total, it pressed on its opponent from the first minute on and stayed focused during the 90 minutes.At a time when BeIiktaI was enjoying a full recovery of its players from injuries, bad news arrived during Sundayandrsquos match.

Senegalese star Ba was sidelined at the end of the first half of the game after he complained of a right ankle pain. Mustafa Pektemek replaced him yet, the injury-prone striker, who missed out on action for two matches due to a red card offense earlier, took a blow on his head in a collision with Trabzonspor defender Essaid Belkalem He was stretchered off the pitch in the 71st minute.

The conditions of both players are not yet known.Bilicandrsquos men reclaimed the top spot, making Galatasarayandrsquos lead short-lived following a win on Saturday.

Trabzonspor was hoping to get closer to the leaders of the pack, but the loss pushed them down to seventh place, trailing leader BeIiktaI by eight points. The top three clubs have a one-point margin between each of them, meaning that the battle for the lead is still wide open into the last five weeks of the seasonandrsquos first half, and there is not really a single major contenderThe derbies of this season so far have produced interesting results.

Sundayandrsquos loser Trabzonspor routed second-placed Galatasaray 3-0 two weeks ago, Galatasaray defeated Fenerbahe 2-1 in October and Fenerbahe defeated BeIiktaI 2-0 in early NovemberThe defeat put an end to Trabzonsporandrsquos unbeaten run since Oct. 5 Yanalandrsquos side seemed too distracted and lackluster on Sunday.

The coach lamented the lack of self-confidence and tension that led to individual mistakes. andldquoWe couldnandrsquot get ourselves together after our self-confidence was gone.

We shouldnandrsquot have become a mess. You can make a mistake, but you should go on,andrdquo he said in a post-game press conference.

andldquoNow we must definitely win in the weeks when our opponents lose,andrdquo he underscored.Also on Sunday, coach Ienol GuneIandrsquos Bursaspor run rampant against KasImpaIa and smashed five goals past the Istanbul club to win 5-1.

The Bursaspor Green Crocs climbed to fifth spot. Kardemir Karabukspor defeated aykur Rizespor 3-0, resulting in the termination of Rizespor coach Mehmet zdilekandrsquos contract.

Istanbul BaIakIehir clinched a single goal victory over EskiIehirspor away.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman