After a disappointing weekend involving the Turkish national team, fans were looking forward to Spor Toto Super League action. With the always anticipated Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray derby coming next week, both of those teams would look to get wins to gain momentum towards the showdown next week. This week would see upsets for two of the big three Istanbul clubs, and the leaders starting to stumble.
Bursa's Ataturk stadium has been a fortress for the defending champions Bursaspor. While Bursaspor hasn't lost a match in their home for almost a year, they got tested by one of the season's surprise packages in Karabukspor. Bursaspor had to do without the services of Volkan Sen, who was left off the roster due to disciplinary reasons. The match started off hot and goals were coming in early. A penalty in the 10th minute for Bursaspor was scored by Turgay Bahadir, putting Bursaspor in the lead. Karabukspor won a penalty of their own in the 13th minute, and Florin Cernat converted the spot kick to tie the match. Turgay Bahadir struck again for Bursaspor in the 24th minute to give Bursaspor the league again. Ten minutes later, Florin Cernat brought the score back level for Karabukspor. Cernat later suffered an injury in the first half leading to his substitution. Cernat was thought to be out for the rest of the first half of the season, but his downtime was later reduced to four weeks. The second half saw the same level of furious play from both clubs, but the match ended 2-2. Bursaspor played to their second draw in two consecutive weeks of league play.
With a new manager in Bulent Uygun, Eskişehirspor hosted Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor looking to gain their first win in league. The municipal team from Istanbul looked to consolidate their mid-table position. Batuhan Karadeniz scored in the 33rd minute for Eskişehirspor to lead Eskişehirspor to victory. Eskişehirspor had to play much of the match with ten men due to Koray Aslan's red card in the 33rd minute. Eskişehirspor got the Bulent Uygun era off to a winning start, but they have a lot of work to do to climb back up the table.
Gaziantepspor hosted Bucaspor in the January 5th stadium in Adana. This match was played behind closed doors due to the events from week 5 in which Gaziantepspor's match against Bursaspor was abandoned. The hosts got a penalty in the 9th minute, in which Sume El Yasa was brought down in the box. Ismael Sosa converted the spot kick to put the hosts up 1-0. Ivelin Popov doubled the lead in the 44th minute, as he converted a cross from Sosa to a goal. Bucaspor tried to make a comeback in the second half, but Gaziantepspor went on to win the match 2-0.
With Beşiktaş losing to Trabzonspor 1-0 in week 7, the match in week 8 against Manisaspor looked to be a cakewalk. Even without Ricardo Quaresma and Guti in the lineup, and with this match in Inonu stadium, Beşiktaş was expected to beat Manisaspor. It didn't start out that way as Manisaspor took a shock lead through Promise Issac in the 9th minute. Beşiktaş responded with a goal of their own as Bobo tied the match in the 14th minute. The halftime break saw the match tied at one goal apiece. Manisaspor regained the lead in the 52nd minute, as Jimmy Dixon scored. Beşiktaş' chances to win the match took a blow two minutes later, when Rodrigo Tabata picked up a second yellow card for a tactical foul. Tabata previously picked up a yellow near the end of the first half for simulation. Manisaspor then scored again in the 69th minute through Yigit Gokoglan, who had come into the game five minutes earlier replacing Ariza Makukula, shocking the Inonu crowd. The match evened out from a player standpoint in the 81st minute, as Manisaspor's Eren Aydin picked up his second yellow card of the match, leading to his ejection. There came a glimmer of hope for a draw for Beşiktaş in the 89th minute, as Fabian Ernst scored to pull the deficit back to one goal. Stoppage time saw missed opportunities from Mert Nobre, Filip Holosko, and Roberto Hilbert as Beşiktaş were desperate to get the draw. Manisaspor pulled off the upset 3-2 to give Beşiktaş a shock result going into Beşiktaş' Europa League match against FC Porto.
Gençlerbirliği hosted Antalyaspor in a match between mid-table sides in Ankara. Billy Mehmet got the scoring started in the 7th minute, giving Gençlerbirliği the quick lead. Kerem Seras tied the match for Antalyaspor in the 30th minute and the first half ended 1-1. Antalyaspor came out quickly in the second half, but Ermin Zec scored in the 62nd minute to put Gençlerbirliği back ahead 2-1. Antalyaspor would get quick scores from Tita in the 79th and 82nd minutes in order to give Antalyaspor the lead and eventually the win 3-2. Antalyaspor continued their slow climb up the standings by winning four out of their last five matches, including this match. After the match, it was announced that Gençlerbirliği manager Thomas Doll was sacked.
With Bursaspor dropping points, Trabzonspor looked to close the gap between first and second places. They travelled to Istanbul to face Kasımpaşa, dead last in the standings. This match basically turned into the Trabzon goal show. Alanzinho scored in the 1st minute to give Trabzonspor the lead, and it basically went downhill for Kasımpaşa from there. Burak Yilmaz scored in the 33rd and 46th minutes. Umut Bulut, starting in the place of Teofilo Gutierrez, scored in the 44th and 81st minutes. Jaja, who came into the match replacing Alanzinho in the 62nd minute, scored in the 66th and 83rd minutes. Trabzonspor thrashed Kasımpaşa 7-0, and continued the misery for Kasımpaşa as they continue to occupy the bottom of the league standings.
Also looking to gain points on leaders Bursaspor is dark horse contenders Kayserispor. Kayserispor hosted Sivasspor in the Kadir Has stadium looking to close the point gap with Bursaspor and keep pace with Trabzonspor as well. Without the services of Mehmet Yildiz and Souleymane Keita, left off the roster due to disciplinary reasons, it was a tall order for Sivasspor to at least get a draw on the road. Sivasspor took the lead in the 20th minute with a goal from Bruno Zita. Kayserispor responded in the 28th minute as Serdar Kesimal tied the match. The second half saw Kayserispor come out aggressive. Aleksandr Amisulashivili gave Kayserispor the lead in the 52nd minute. Sivasspor would see the deficit increase to two goals as Mamadou Diallo scored an own goal to give Kayserispor a 3-1 lead. Marcelo Zayaleta put the game out of reach in the 83rd minute as Kayserispor went on to win the match 4-1.
After a shock loss on the road to Karabukspor, Galatasaray came home to the Ali Sami Yen stadium in order to recover before the important derby next week against Fenerbahçe. Facing Ankaragücü, Galatasaray looked to give their fans a victory to give them momentum going into the derby. It didn't look good for Galatasaray in the 3rd minute. Metin Akan scored off an Ankaragücü counterattack to give the visitors a shock 1-0 lead. The score going into the halftime break was Ankaragücü leading 1-0, and the fans of Galatasaray looked frustrated. Ankaragücü struck again in the 51st minute, as Ozgur Cek doubled the lead. Galatasaray got back into the match in the 57th minute, as Milan Baros scored. But hope for a Galatasaray comeback faded three minutes later, as Stanislav Sestak gave Ankaragücü a 3-1 lead. Two minutes after that, Galatasaray goalkeeper Ufuk Ceylan received a direct red card for handling the ball outside his box in a one-on-one situation, leaving him out for next week's derby. Milan Baros reduced the deficit for Galatasaray to one goal as he scored in the 65th minute. However, if getting reduced to ten men wasn't bad enough, Baros left the match in the 85th minute, as he picked up an injury leaving him doubtful for the derby next week. Two minutes into stoppage time, Ankaragücü sealed the win with Turgut Dogan Sahin scoring to make the final score 4-2 to Ankaragücü. A second consecutive loss for Galatasaray now leads to questions about the team's future, as it was rumored after this match that Frank Rijkaard may be sacked either before or after the derby.
Fenerbahçe looked to continue a recent run of good form. Going on the road to face Konyaspor it seemed as if that Fenerbahçe would be going into the derby next week on a high note. It didn't look good for Fenerbahçe in the 14th minute, as Ozer Hurmaci, starting in place of Alex de Souza, was injured and was replaced by Semih Senturk. Hurmaci later was listed as doubtful for next week's derby. Emre Belozoglu got the scoring started in the 26th minute, as Fenerbahçe took a 1-0 lead. Konyaspor got a tying goal through Peter Grajciar in the 31st minute. But Fenerbahçe took over the match three minutes later, as Semih Senturk made the score 2-1 to Fenerbahçe. Miroslav Stoch added a third goal for Fenerbahçe in the 41st minute, and Fenerbahçe went into the halftime break up 3-1. Diego Lugano added a fourth goal off a header and Fenerbahçe cruised to a 4-1 victory.
After the matches this week, it is striking to see that, currently, five out of the top six positions in the Spor Toto Super League are occupied by Anatolian teams. The places from 1st to 6th are occupied by Bursaspor, Trabzonspor, Kayserispor, Fenerbahçe, Karabukspor, and Antalyaspor. Next week features the most anticipated date of the Turkish football calendar, as Fenerbahçe hosts Galatasaray on Sunday October 24th. Also featured next week is an important clash on Monday October 25th, as Beşiktaş travels to the Kadir Has stadium to face Kayserispor. But the eyes of Turkey will be at the Fenerbahçe Şükrü Saracoğlu stadium for one of the biggest derby matches in the world.