In probably the most important game of the season, Galatasaray defeated Beşiktaş 2-0 and grabbed three precious points ahead of a relatively easy fixture.
Although Galatasaray's lead at the top of the table may not be huge - Başakşehir is just a point behind and Fenerbahçe trails by three - its last three games are against minnows Akhisarspor, Malatyaspor and Göztepe. In terms of quality, these teams are way behind Galatasaray. Therefore, though premature, it is safe to assume that the Lions are the closest to winning the title this season.
However, if Galatasaray had failed against Beşiktaş, it would have been a traumatic experience for the team and it would have struggled to bounce back in the last three weeks. Understandably, it was a do or die match for Galatasaray, one that would put them on a psychological and mathematical higher ground.
From the very beginning of the game, it was clear that Fatih Terim understood Beşiktaş's main deficiency, its vulnerability against intense pressing in the final third. Since Bayern Munich debunked in Beşiktaş's lack of organization in early build-ups, almost every team that opted for against the Black Eagles got decent results.
Reality is Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş does not have a plan to build up the game in the defense and that is why once Beşiktaş's individual talents do not suffice, it is only left with the option of playing reckless long-balls.
Terim, however, was prepared. He marked key Beşiktaş players in the offense, especially Talisca and Quaresma, and did not allow them any time or space.
Beşiktaş's offense was effectively neutralized and it found only three serious opportunities, all coming from lucky long balls. By reining the Beşiktaş offense, Galatasaray not just secured the game but at the same time forced Beşiktaş to lose possession.
It was a total domination by Fatih Terim against Şenol Güneş in terms of efficiency, despite the fact that Terim did not have an organized offensive plan as well. His main idea was to attack as quickly as possible with the balls intercepted in the opponent's half. Other than that, it was a balanced game when Galatasaray had the ball since their possession game was not as good as their pressing game.
The lesson Beşiktaş can take from this game is that individualistic chaos is bound to fail at a certain point since it does not offer anything reliable and repeatable in the long-term. With its title and Champions League hopes in tatters, Beşiktaş must invest in a new footballing philosophy, as they did when they brought in Şenol Güneş in 2015.
Club Chairman Fikret Orman has proved his vision and boldness as he tackled last week's conspiracy theories, but now it is time to prove his footballing wisdom by building a new Beşiktaş.
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