Galatasaray vs. Fenerbahce: Final score 2-1, Lions roar at home

Laurence Griffiths

Two first half goals and an efficiently played second half helped Galatasaray down their Istanbul rivals Fenerbahce.

Galatasaray did their damage in the first half with two goal before frustrating Fenerbahce in the second half to claim a 2-1 victory in the Kıtalar Arası Derbi.

The home side were the aggressors early, putting a shot off the Fenerbahce post in the 4th minute. Six minutes later they broke through for the match's first goal.Albert Riera sent a free kick in to the box that was ever so expertley directed in to the Fenerbahce net past Volkan Demirel. The only problem was that the header was a mistake by Fenerbahce defender Bekir İrtegün. There's nothing quite like an own goal in a massive derby.

Fenerbahce responded well, putting solid pressure on the Galatasaray defense and finding an equalizer in the 23rd minute.

The initial ball in to the box was cleared by the Galatasaray defense right to Hasan Ali Kaldırım who wasted no time putting the ball in the corner of the goal with a low shot from 20-yards out.

In the 33rd minute, Fenerbahce midfielder Cristian Baroni took down Selçuk İnan 25-yards, basically dead center 25-yards from goal.

It took three minutes and two stoppages by the referee to finally bring an end to the pushing and shoving battle that ensued as Fenerbahce tried to set-up their wall and Galatasaray players tried to mess with it. When İnan finally got to strike his free kick, he curled it perfectly over the wall and in to the upper left corner as Fernando Muslera stood helpless and frozen in the middle of the goal, giving Galatasaray a 2-1 lead they would take to halftime.

The second half was Galatasaray's dream, at least in terms of the flow and lack of any real threats from Fenerbahce. After the wide open first half, the second 45 minutes was rather drab and I expect Galatasaray head coach Fatih Terim was just fine with that.

Felipe Melo had a great chance in the 79th minute to really put the match away for Galatasaray. Melo made a great run, slicing through the Fenerbahce midfield and defense before sending a shot wide right of the goal. Two minutes later, Nordin Amrabat sent a low ball across the face of goal that a sliding Burak Yılmaz just missed getting a boot on.

Fenerbahce inability to break down their rivals led to frustration and fouls that took them even farther away from any hope of equalizing. Raul Miereles put the nail in his own team's coffin in the 82nd minute, pulling down Yekta Kurtuluş and earning his second yellow card of the match and an early trip to the showers.

Galatasaray played out the final eight minutes to secure the victory, much to delight of the home crowd.

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