Beşiktaş made no mistakes in the crucial final week as it edged Istanbul rivals Galatasaray in goal difference to clinch its first Turkish Süper Lig title in four seasons.
The Black Eagles picked up a 2-1 win over Göztepe in Izmir Saturday, securing its 16th overall title. The Izmir club finished the season in 10th place.
Croatian defender Domagoj Vida put Beşiktaş ahead in the 10th minute in Izmir, only for Alpaslan Öztürk to equalize for host Göztepe 14 minutes later.
With pressure rising as cross-town rival Galatasaray went ahead in its match, Algerian winger Rachid Ghezzal, on loan from Leicester City, scored the winner for Beşiktaş from a penalty in the 69th minute. Both teams had entered the final week tied on 81 points.
The usual wild celebrations of champions in Turkey's largest city were muted, with the country under lockdown due to a recent surge in coronavirus cases. However, crowds of fans, many of whom did not wear masks and ignored social distancing rules, filled the streets of the Beşiktaş district and other parts of the country in low-key celebrations.
The victory brought relief to Beşiktaş in what has been otherwise a nervous end to the season, with defeats in its previous two matches. Last weekend they lost 3-1 away to Galatasaray, which won its final six games.
Beşiktaş last won the Süper Lig title in the 2016-17 season but its fortunes revived this season under coach Sergen Yalçın, a former star player at the club.
The team is captained by Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson, and his compatriot, forward Cyle Larin, was the club's top scorer this season with 19 goals. Cameroonian striker Vincent Aboubakar contributed another 15.
Beşiktaş has the chance to claim the domestic double on Tuesday when it plays Antalyaspor in the Turkish Cup Final.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoğlu congratulated Beşiktaş on the team's domestic triumph.
Erdoğan on Twitter congratulated the team and their fans "in a heartfelt way" for winning the 2021 title.
MInister Kasapoğlu also congratulated the Black Eagles, its players, technical staff, board members and fans on their success.
Galatasaray finished the season as runner-up behind Beşiktaş with a one-goal difference, clinching the second Champions League qualifiers ticket.
League leader Beşiktaş racked up 84 points in 42 weeks but the Black Eagles had a shocking 2-1 home loss against mediocre Fatih Karagümrük on Tuesday, risking title chances.
The Lions were encouraged with the latest victories, with the team winning its last six matches in a row. The victories included a 3-1 derby win against Beşiktaş on May 8 and a 4-1 away win Tuesday over already-relegated Yukatel Denizlispor to level with Beşiktaş in the standings.
In the final fixture, the Lions hosted Helenex Yeni Malatyaspor in Istanbul, defeating the mediocre opponent 3-1.
This was the second time Galatasaray lost the trophy on goal difference. Coincidentally, the last time was also against Beşiktaş back in the 1985/86 season.
One of the Big Three of Istanbul, third-placed Fenerbahçe, had slimmest chances at the title and looked far from that goal with an injury-time victory over a lowly Kayserispor.
The Yellow Canaries, long runners-up behind Beşiktaş, bagged 82 points with a 2-1 away victory in Kayseri.
Kayserispor finished the season in 17th place with 41 points, surviving relegation just one point above the relegated BB Erzurumspor.
This season, Fenerbahçe showed perseverance with a firm grip on the title race but was defeated 2-1 by Demir Grup Sivasspor at Istanbul's Ülker Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium in a serious loss for the Yellow Canaries. The defeat caused Fenerbahçe to slip from the second spot.
Three clubs had already been relegated from the Süper Lig: Büyükşehir Belediye Erzurumspor, MKE Ankaragücü and Yukatel Denizlispor.
Gençlerbirliği was defeated 2-1 by fourth-placed Trabzonspor on Saturday to finish the season in 20th place with 38 points.
Gençlerbirliği had the head-to-head advantage this season, having defeated Kayserispor 3-2 at home and played to a 2-2 draw in the away match held in the central province of Kayseri.
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