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Mesut Ozil, Ryan Babel & more left heartbroken as Besiktas clinch Turkish title by solitary goal

Mesut Ozil, Ryan Babel & more left heartbroken as Besiktas clinch Turkish title by solitary goal

 

The battle for supremacy in the Turkish top-flight came down to the wire on Saturday, as Besiktas emerged victorious by the narrowest of margins imaginable.

Three-way battle

The final round of Super Lig fixtures played out a short time ago.

Ahead of the action getting underway on Saturday evening, the division’s three biggest clubs – Galatasaray, Besiktas and Fenerbahce – were all still in with a shot of clinching glory.

The latter stood as the underdogs, sitting two points adrift of Istanbul’s giants, who were separated by only goal difference at the summit.

And, in incredible circumstances, Fener went on to do their part, downing Kayserispor by two goals to one.

Emre Belozoglu’s men actually trailed by a goal to nil right up until the 90th minute, only for Enner Valencia to level things up from the penalty spot, before Serdar Aziz bagged a winner a full nine minutes into injury time.

Galatasaray, meanwhile, also got the job done, adding to their goal difference courtesy of a 3-1 downing of Yeni Malatyaspor.

Irfan Buz’s side, featuring a host of recognisable faces – including all of DeAndre Yedlin, Gedson Fernandes, Ryan Babel and Arda Turan – were too forced to recover from a goal down.

Halil Dervişoğlu pulled the hosts level at the Turk Telekom Arena, before Ryan Babel quickly added a 2nd, and Oğulcan Çağlayan rounded out a comfortable victory with an injury-time 3rd:

Gala’s efforts, though, when all was said and done, came up short.

This came with Besiktas having ground out a hard-fought 2-1 win of their own, away to Goztepe.

After Domagoj Vida’s early opener was cancelled out by Alpaslan Öztürk midway through the first-half, hearts were no doubt in mouths across Turkey, amid a staggeringly tense final matchday.

But Sergen Yalçın’s men held their nerve, as Rachid Ghezzal stepped up to slot home a crucial spot-kick twenty minutes from time, confirming the Black Eagles’ first league title since 2017 in the process.

The remarkably tight nature of the final Super Lig standings is showcased below, with Istanbul neighbours Besiktas and Galatasaray having been separated by just a solitary goal, following 40 rounds of fixtures:

Black Eagles celebrate

In turn, the celebrations at Vodafone Park are now well and truly underway.

Besiktas have taken to social media, to post a number of jubilant messages to the club’s die-hard fanbase:

The Black Eagles even made sure to aim a less than subtle dig at Gala:

And the scenes on the streets of Istanbul on Saturday night are also a sight to behold, as the Besiktas faithful allow the emotions of a historically draining campaign to come pouring out:

 

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.