Galatasaray delight in final-day title success
Saturday, May 12, 2012
"I'm on top of the world," said striker Johan Elmander after Galatasaray AŞ claimed their first Turkish Süper Lig title in four years after a final-day draw at Fenerbahçe SK.
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Galatasaray AŞ have won their 18th Turkish Süper Lig title after securing a goalless draw against Fenerbahçe SK at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium.
On the final day of a season in which a revised league play-off format was introduced for the first time, Fatih Terim's charges produced the point they needed to hold off the threat of a resurgent Fenerbahçe side and claim their first league title in four years.
Despite starting the play-off campaign with a nine-point advantage over their arch-rivals Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray had put their title chances in jeopardy after dropping seven points in four matches, leaving a daunting final-day trip to a venue where victory had eluded them for 12 years.
With the onus on the hosts to win, Fenerbahçe adopted a more forthright approach and forced visiting goalkeeper Fernando Muslera into a series of crucial saves. With tensions running high towards the end of the encounter Fenerbahçe's Issiar Dia and Galatasaray's Tomáš Ujfaluši both received their marching orders, but in the end Gala clung on.
"It was a fantastic season," said Swedish international Johan Elmander. "I'm on top of the world." Midfielder Engin Baytar, meanwhile had gracious words for their defeated rivals: "Fenerbahçe fought well tonight. I think we deserved to win the title. After missing out on winning the title so narrowly last season as a Trabzonspor [AŞ] player I fully understand how the Fenerbahçe players and fans are feeling right now."