Turkish Football News

Basaksehir go into winter break as leaders

Basaksehir go into winter break as leaders

The Istanbul club have solidified their spot at the top of the Turkish Super Lig with 35 points after 17 games, 6 points clear of second-placed Trabzonspor.

To say this season has been full of surprises so far would be an understatement. The Big Three have faltered while Istanbul Basaksehir have impressed with their compact style of play and have earned themselves the top spot in the league with 35 points as the clubs go into the winter break. In Turkey, they refer to the team in first place during the winter break as the “winter champions”.

On December 22nd, the league leaders salvaged a 1-1 draw against Alanyaspor to remain in first place, six points clear of defending champions Galatasaray, Trabzonspor, Kasimpasa and Malatyaspor.

Galatasaray returned to winning ways following a four-game win-less streak in the league by beating Sivasspor 4-2 at home on December 23rd, to move up and finish the first half of the season in the fifth place on a goal difference from the other three teams.

Trabzonspor’s recent successful run, during which they won four of their last five league games – including their 4-1 home win over Rizespor this past weekend – and losing none, propelled the Black Sea side to second place.

Galatasaray’s Muslera blocks a shot during a Super Lig game.

Newcomers Malatyaspor dropped to third, following a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Bursaspor on December 23rd, while Kasimpasa demolished Besiktas 4-1 at home to secure themselves 4th place.

Besiktas, who have not won a league game since their 1-0 win over rivals Galatasaray three weeks ago, has dropped down to 7th place with 26 points.

Struggling Fenerbahce continued to show no signs of improvement as they drew 0-0 away against Antalyaspor on Christmas eve and go into the winter break in 17th placed with 16 points.

Basaksehir coach Abdullah Avci was cautious about his side’s title chances despite being at the top of the league with 6 points between themselves and the second placed team, Trabzonspor.

“The victory could have gone either way tonight, and it ended in a draw,” Avci, who has been at the helm of the club since 2006, said during the post-game press conference after drawing 1-1 with Alanyaspor away in their final game of year.

He criticized the game’s referee for allowing a rough game to take place.

“I am saying this to keep the players healthy, it is never an excuse to not win,” he added. “I congratulate our opponent. We will try to make fewer mistakes in the second half of the league and try to be better at what we already do well.”

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