Beşiktaş cruises past RB Leipzig in Champions League group stage match

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 27.09.2017 00:08
Updated 27.09.2017 19:36
emAFP Photo/em
AFP Photo

Turkish champion Beşiktaş beat last season's Bundesliga runner-ups RB Leipzig in their second group-stage game of the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

The Black Eagles' attacking midfielder Ryan Babel put his team ahead 1-0 with a perfectly executed left-footed finish after Cenk Tosun's pass in the 11th minute.

The score remained unchanged until the 43rd minute when Anderson Talisca doubled Beşiktaş's lead against the German side after heading the ball home with a beautiful cross from Portuguese international Ricardo Quaresma.

Both teams failed to find the net after half time despite an abundance of goal-scoring opportunities.

Beşiktaş, who are now unbeaten in 10 European home matches, had never beaten a German opponent in seven previous attempts in European games.

Having kicked off their campaign with a 3-1 win at Porto, the Istanbul giants now lead Group G with six points, while their closest pursuer Porto has three points. Monaco and RB Leipzig have one point each and occupy the last two spots in the group standings.

Leipzig, on the other hand, played its maiden European away match. They enjoyed most of the ball possession and had 19 attempts at goal but were made to pay for their inexperience.

After the match, Ryan Babel said: "We knew we would take a big step if we win. Our fans played an important role in our victory. We have a good chance of advancing now but it is too early to comment. We will play against Monaco in an away match."

The Eagles' winger Quaresma said: "It was a very difficult match. I want to thank fans for the affection they have shown me on my birthday. I will do my best as long as I play for Beşiktaş."

Meanwhile, Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş said: "We are in a balanced group. Leipzig are young and open to improvement. We have played two difficult games. After the first match, we had to win our first home game. With the support of the fans, we started well. We locked up our rivals in their half of the pitch. But we could not find many positions in the second half and got tired towards the end of the game. We kept the score with a little luck."

"We have four games left. If we win one of the matches against Monaco and draw two we will advance to the next round. Our fans motivated us within the fair play rules. They have set a good example," he added.

Beşiktaş fans, however, were so loud that Leipzig forward Timo Werner requested to be substituted in the first half of the match. The 21-year-old Germany international could not handle the vociferous inside the Vodafone Park and was replaced after 32 minutes.

Werner tried wearing earplugs to block out the intense noise made by fans, but they were of little help. He was seen covering his ears with his hands, before leaving the field with "hearing issues."

"It is impossible to prepare your team for an atmosphere like this. There was a deafening noise [and] at the start of the game we were a bit affected," RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl said.

"We were not good at all in the first 20 minutes. But it was a lesson for all of us. I saw who I can count on in times like these. This is a lesson for us to learn and we keep learning."

Leipzig's cause was also not helped when the stadium's floodlights went out for a period in the second half. The match was held up for 12 minutes and the players left the pitch while the issue was fixed.

Beşiktaş will play their next Champions League match away against Monaco on October 17.

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