Unless there is a derby or the big guns playing each other, it is a rare occasion to see all three Istanbul giants (Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe) lose points in the same week. It is even rarer to watch them being dominated by weaker opponents, opponents they have always dominated. But they all lost points in the same week twice in nine weeks. It is no longer unusual to watch a regular Anatolian side to dominate the game. This will pave the way for a better competition and the end of the Istanbul elites' dominance will increase the quality of Super League.
Take Galatasaray's performance against Bursaspor this week for example. Considering it is leading the Super League and playing in the Champions League, what are the chances of Bursaspor, who are currently 13th, to beat them?
Well, if it was not for Eren Derdiyok's late equalizer, Bursaspor was only minutes away from beating Galatasaray in its own backyard. Bursa did not allow Galatasaray to find time and space by defending tightly and after they took the lead they also found lots of opportunities that they generously wasted. Nevertheless, all the fans in the Türk Telekom Arena and fans watching the game on TV saw that it is now possible for any Anatolian team to come and play for a win in Istanbul.
The same scenario with the same outcome also happened in the Fenerbahçe-Sivasspor game. Although Fenerbahçe is in bad shape these days, for its fans it is still the mighty Fenerbahçe. It is supposed to win every game it plays in the Super League, especially the games against weaker teams like Sivasspor. But things no longer work like that in Turkish football and Sivasspor being three spots higher than its opponent, played like as if it was playing against just another Anatolian team. Fenerbahçe was only able to defend its goal against fearless Sivasspor attacks and found only one decent chance, but Roberto Soldado could not make it count.
Beşiktaş's case was even worse since it not only did lose points but lost the game. Beşiktaş's missed penalty was the breaking point of the game after that Göztepe took the initiative. It exploited the absence of Pepe and Vida in Beşiktaş's defense by playing lots of crosses into the penalty box. Yes, not the most sophisticated strategy in history, but combined with the fact that they crippled Beşiktaş's offense, I would say it was decent.
So, these repeated examples leave us with the fact that Super League is now out of the hands of Istanbul elites and Anatolian sides are also in the race. The strength of individual talents are now minimized by tactical efficiency and this certainly works in favor of the weaker teams. We might even see Anatolian teams beating Istanbul elites in the championship race in the near future.
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