Club Brugge fans should not be so sure about their team in the second leg against Beşiktaş in Istanbul. Putting aside the great potential of the game that Beşiktaş could not use, Brugge did not even try to dominate the game or show any sign of confident organization. Especially in the first half, they sat too deep and relieved the pressure on Beşiktaş's defense. Added to that, their defensive organization was not tight too. Most of the time, Gökhan Töre and Olcay Şahan found enough time and space to penetrate. Nevertheless, Gökhan Töre's goal made a huge impact on both teams' gameplay.
It is not a secret that Beşiktaş prefers to play more defensively and the offensive work is mostly executed by the individual skills of forward players. Furthermore, playing as an away team strengthened this mentality, and a quick goal in the second half made Beşiktaş go fully on the defensive. It was the breaking point of the game because Brugge had to score a goal and they left even more open field to Beşiktaş, but the team's response was very problematic. Rather than utilizing the space, Beşiktaş withdrew from those areas and completely focused on defense. The irony is, since the begging of the season, Beşiktaş has been praised for its ability to attack fast and lethally, but this game was a failure for this strategy. Despite enough time and space, Beşiktaş reacted like a second division team that could not even dream of a goal before the game.
However, you might ask, then how come I warn Brugge fans to be skeptical about their team? To be honest, Brugge disappointed me more than Beşiktaş and also make me reconsider my thoughts about European football. They were actually more cautious and defensive than Beşiktaş, and they were punished with a goal. Afterwards, Brugge started to position more players on the offensive side, but the lack of organization and strategy would have cost them more goals if Beşiktaş had played more bravely. They hardly found positions when they were behind, and the equalizer came from a chaotic position that could not be repeated. Therefore, Brugge cannot be effective with this mentality in the second leg.
Nevertheless, Beşiktaş also is a Pandora's Box, and the team can be easily demoralized or go totally out of control. Even if they somehow satisfy the offensive duty, there is still a potential threat of simple mistakes. Of course, Beşiktaş's main problem is the lack of a specific, effective and sustainable strategy; if it is a long term plan, however, Beşiktaş has to build an experienced and expensive squad in order to chase big achievements, like most of lazy clubs do. This is especially true when the defensive line consists of very unpredictable and dangerous players like Ersan Gülüm, Necip Uysal and Serdar Kurtuluş. You never know if these players are going to make a painful mistake, and that is unacceptable for a team like Beşiktaş. This not only makes Beşiktaş a more fragile team on defense, but also sabotages any form of offensive organization from the very beginning.
Another point that Beşiktaş has to work on is the positioning of players while confronting opponent's free kicks. Players go too deep in their penalty box so that they bring danger closer to their goal line. Whenever many players are around the goalkeeper, it is always more possible to score goal amid the chaos. Added to that, they leave no space for goalkeeper to perform his duty and to use his aerial superiority. Brugge seriously threatened Beşiktaş with free kicks, and that could be the only part of the game that they have been effective throughout the 90 minutes.
Cenk Gönen was definitely not impressive against Club Brugge. He has to be more precise when making a move and should not hesitate. The final position of the game, which nearly resulted in a third goal for Brugge, should be watched by goalkeepers very carefully. A goalkeeper should never intervene in a long ball that one of his teammates is already chasing. Instead, his move should be precise and decisive enough to end the position. Cenk's problem is more mental actually. Every goalkeeper can make painful mistakes, but top class goalkeepers never withdraw from battle. On the other hand, Brugge goalie Mathew Ryan played with no mistakes, and I really liked his style. He was very precise in his moves and did whatever necessary in almost every position. Thus, we might see him in better places in the future.