With many storylines coming into this Sunday, this was one of the most interesting matches between eternal rivals Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray in quite some time. How would Gheorghe Hagi do in his first match back in charge of Galatasaray? Could Fenerbahçe be peaking at the right time in the season? How would Galatasaray recover from a two match losing streak? Could Fenerbahçe keep the winning streak against Galatasaray at the Şükrü Saracoğlu stadium going?
The match started out with Fenerbahçe kicking off. A quick corner in the first minute led to Fenerbahçe's Mehmet Topuz attempt a header on goal, but ended up in Galatasaray goalkeeper Aykut Ercetin's hands. Galatasaray almost had a goal in the fourth minute. After a pass from Elano, Juan Pablo Pino had a shot that only got saved off the goal line by the effort of Gokhan Gonul. Volkan Demirel came out of his goal to cover Pino, but Pino got off the shot that was prevented from going into the goal by Gonul. Pino would get another chance in the 12th minute. His shot was saved by Fenerbahçe's Volkan Demirel, and the ball would just barely miss the goal going out. Fenerbahçe had a chance in the 19th minute. Mamadou Niang's volley was blocked by Galatasaray's Lorik Cana. Emre Belozoglu's attempt was also blocked by Cana, and Galatasaray cleared the danger. In the 23rd minute, Lucas Neill's volley was brilliantly saved by Volkan Demirel. Neill would get a yellow card one minute later for a rough foul. The 29th minute found Juan Pablo Pino with another attempt on goal, but missed. His shot didn't miss by much. Emre Belozoglu got a yellow card for a tactical foul in the 35th minute, as Galatasaray went on a counterattack. A rough foul from Galatasaray's Ayhan Akman in the 42nd minute resulted in a yellow card, and Akman will miss Galatasaray's match next week against Antalyaspor. The first half ended with the score at 0-0.
Galatasaray kicked off the second half. In the 47th minute, a cross by Fenerbahçe's Miroslav Stoch resulted in Alex heading the ball out. In the 51st minute, Mamadou Niang almost had a goal but his shot was saved by Ercetin. Servet Cetin tried to clear the ball after the shot, but the clearance went off Ercetin by accident and was out for a corner. In the 57th minute, Stoch decided to try a long range shot that went over the bar by about two feet. In the 64th minute, Alex's corner was headed out by Mehmet Topuz, as Fenerbahçe continued to have frustration in front of the Galatasaray goal. In the 68th minute, Fenerbahçe's Diego Lugano picked up a yellow card, and he will miss Fenerbahçe's match next week against Bursaspor due to yellow card accumulation. In the 74th minute, Stoch laid off a pass to Semih Senturk, but Senturk's effort went out. Galatasaray had two efforts to win the match right at the end of the match. In the 90th minute, Emre Colak's long range effort was a weak effort and ended up in the hands of Volkan Demirel. In the third minute of three of stoppage time, PIno nearly had the winner for Galatasaray. It took a clutch save from Volkan Demirel to prevent Galatasaray from stealing the match. The match ended without a goal from both Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, but provided good entertainment for the casual fan. Galatasaray got a point, and this was their first points of any kind on the road against Fenerbahçe since 1999, the last time Galatasaray won at the Şükrü Saracoğlu stadium.
There were perhaps two observations from this match. One was the effort of Juan Pablo Pino serving as the lone forward for Galatasaray. Pino, normally a wing player, was one of the men of the match. His play as the lone forward gave Fenerbahçe's defense much to think about. Without the services of Milan Baros to injury, and without Mehmet Batdal being used, Pino was a makeshift forward. But Pino did so well that perhaps Galatasaray manager Gheorghe Hagi may use him until Milan Baros returns from his injury. The second observation is the terrible job referee Bulent Yildirim did in refereeing this match. Yildirim let many harsh fouls go uncalled and, while he did give out some yellow cards, didn't whistle enough fouls. He basically let the match get out of hand and got intimidated by the match atmosphere and the players. His treatment of Lucas Neill in particular was disturbing. Neill, regardless of a yellow card in the first half, played very harshly and some of his tackles were dangerous. Yildirim let him gets off with warnings, when it would have better suited to give a card, and Neill should have been ejected from this game because of his play.
Regardless, another derby has come and gone in Turkey. Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray will meet again in the spring, and the anticipation for the derby will begin again. What will be unique about the return leg is that it will be the first derby in the brand new Turk Telekom Arena. The stadium is in the Seyrantepe district and Galatasaray will start playing at their new stadium tentatively in January. Galatasaray fans will be happy that their team got a point against their fiercest rivals in their stadium, their first point of any kind at Şükrü Saracoğlu stadium since 1999. The second Gheorghe Hagi era didn't get off to the best start for Galatasaray, but a point will be welcome after two consecutive losses. For Fenerbahçe, it seems that they were lucky to get the draw, due to Galatasaray being the better team for much of the match. Fenerbahçe still is ahead of their rivals in the standings, but will be disappointed that they couldn't get the three points needed to keep pace with the leaders in the Turkish Super League table.