Bursaspor upset the applecart as they ended the 26-year monopoly of Istanbul clubs by snatching the title from Fenerbahçe SK on a dramatic final day of Turkish Super League action.
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Bursaspor had a modest target at the beginning of the season – a UEFA Europa League qualifying berth – but exceeded all expectations by claiming the title with a squad assembled at relatively low cost. Their success ended a 26-year monopoly on the championship by Istanbul teams Fenerbahçe SK, Beşiktaş JK and Galatasaray AŞ.
Bursaspor became only the fifth team to win the Turkish title, coming out on top after a dramatic final day. A point behind Fenerbahçe heading into the denouement, Bursaspor beat titleholders Beşiktaş 2-1 to leapfrog Fenerbahçe, who could only draw 1-1 with Trabzonspor. An historic triumph.
Cup final: Trabzonspor 3-1 Fenerbahçe SK
More disappointment for Christoph Daum's side, who were looking to end their 27-year wait for this particular piece of silverware. They did take the lead through captain Alex ten minutes after half-time but were dominated throughout by Trabzonspor. The Black Sea club eventually prevailed courtesy of goals from Umut Bulut, Engin Baytar and Gustavo Colman. It was Trabzonspor's second cup success under Şenol Güneş, who also led them to the trophy in 1994/95.
Bursaspor – UEFA Champions League group stage
Fenerbahçe SK – UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
Trabzonspor – UEFA Europa League play-offs
Galatasaray AŞ – UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
Beşiktaş JK – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round
*Subject to final confirmation from UEFA
Player of the Year: Emre Belözoğlu (Fenerbahçe SK)
Although Fenerbahçe missed out on the title, they can take solace from Emre's consistently impressive performances. The Turkey midfielder was effective at both ends of the pitch, his experience and combative style proving a valuable asset in taking his team so close in both league and cup.
One(s) to watch: Volkan Şen and Ozan İpek (Bursaspor)
Wingers Volkan and Ozan were Bursaspor’'s creative force throughout the campaign. The former's pace and impressive technique on the right caught the eye as he scored six in 27 league games; Ozan found the net eight times having played two games more. Both were duly rewarded with first international call-ups in March.
Surprise package: Sivasspor
Last term's runners-up suffered a drastic dip in fortunes having been forced into major squad changes during the summer. Coach Bülent Uygun stepped down just two months in, but it was not the end of the personnel changes for Sivasspor, who had three different men at the helm during the season. They finished 15th, just one place above the relegation zone, ending the campaign with seven successive draws.
Leading scorer: Ariza Makukula, Kayserispor (21)
Relegated: Ankaraspor AŞ, Denizlispor, Diyarbakirspor
Promoted: Kardemir DÇ Karabükspor, Bucaspor, Konyaspor
Fenerbahçe goalkeeper Volkan Demirel kept nine successive clean sheets in the league from 7 March to 9 May.
"Our club's budget is €10m but my players' ambition and efforts were equal to a team worth €100m."
Bursaspor coach Ertuğrul Sağlam hails his team for punching above their weight all the way to the title.