Beşiktaş increased his points advantage to five in Turkey’s Süper Lig after midweek games as he prepares to face Hatayspor on May 1.
His closest rival, Fenerbahçe, was held in check by a goalless draw at Alanyaspor on April 29, a day after the leaders won 3-2 at Rizespor, leading to a huge advantage in the title race for Beşiktaş with four games to go.
Fenerbahçe coach Emre Belözoğlu has vowed to keep fighting.
“We want to claim all possible points until the end of the season,” Belözoğlu said after the draw.
“We will continue to fight for four weeks in the best possible way. I mean we continue to keep our faith.
In Rize, Kevin N’Koudou gave the advantage to the Istanbul team, assisted by Rachid Ghezzal who made his 16th assist in Süper Lig, more than any other player in the championship.
In the second half, Gökhan Töre doubled his team’s lead and Ghezzal sent a superb long-range strike to make it 3-0.
A sensational free kick from İsmail Köybaşı and a header from Damjan Dokovic helped the locals close the gap with just minutes to go, but they were unable to keep up the momentum.
Beşiktaş coach Sergen Yalçın said he was delighted with the performance of his players and the club were totally focused on the price.
“As a community, the president, management, fans, players and the technical team are united,” he said at a post-match press conference.
“On the pitch, everyone will fight to the max. Because championships are not won easily. You cannot be a champion without sacrifice, without suffering.
He also criticized his team’s next rival and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) on the schedule.
Beşiktaş and Hatayspor will play the only league game on May 1, while four games are scheduled for May 2 and five on May 3.
“We wanted to play the next day because there was not enough time, they [Hatayspor] did not accept, “he said.
“They insisted on playing on Saturday. We did not understand the reason for this. We are talking about players, human health. We proposed Rizespor, they accepted. Kayseri agreed. We thank both communities. Why didn’t Hatayspor care? They don’t have to worry about being champions or being relegated. I ask the friends who make the schedule of matches in the federation. What are you doing? What is behind this? We, as a community, fight as much as we can. “
Galatasaray visits Gençlerbirliği from the relegation zone on May 2, while Fenerbahçe welcomes Erzurumspor the next day.
The fight against relegation is also tough, with five points separating seven teams, three of which will join Denizlispor in the lower division next season.
In the matches on May 2, Denizlispor faces Rizespor, Konyaspor hosts Karagümrük and Göztepe visits Antalyaspor.
Başakşehir’s matches against Ankaragücü and Malatyaspor against Kayserispor will be crucial for the relegation fight on May 3, which will also see Alanyaspor playing at Kasımpaşa and Gaziantep hosting Sivasspor.