Tuesday, October 23, 2007

PSV Eindhoven 0 - 0 Fenerbahce: Solid Form Continues in Europe

PSV Eindhoven 0 - 0 Fenerbahce: Solid Form Continues in Europe
By Ozgur R. Nazilli

Fenerbahce continue their unbeaten run with a goalless draw in Eindhoven against PSV, in a game that they played with 10 men for almost half an hour. Fenerbahce, who sits in second place in the group now after Inter beat CSKA Moscow 2-1, is the only team that has yet to lose in the group.

Even though PSV Eindhoven was a much feared away game by the Fener fans prior to the game, the Yellow Canaries were in control for the majority of the game. It was as though Fenerbahce was the home side and PSV were playing for the first time in that stadium. The contribution of the fans cannot be underestimated in this strong performance, since Fenerbahce chants were almost always more audible than PSV chants, even from the television broadcast.

Fenerbahce kept PSV under constant pressure and they definitely had more goal scoring opportunities, but they could not make the finishing touches, ending a game they dominated with only one point. PSV could not find the back of the net, even though most of the Fenerbahce defense had yellow cards (Lugano, Deniz, Aurelio) and would be holding themselves back in order to avoid a second card.

The most amazing thing about today's performance was to see how far Fenerbahce has come since the last time we played in the Champion's League. Now, with the Anderlecht games, Fener has played 5 matches in the European arena this season, and aside from being unbeaten, their performances have become very confident. Even though there are many youngsters in the team who are playing for the first time in the Champions League, Fenerbahce never goes into a game with anything but a win on their minds and this shows in their performances. The group games have proven that neither pushing Anderlecht out of the tournament nor the Inter win were by luck. Fenerbahce has become a completely different team than the one that was in the Champions League 2 years ago. Today, even though Fener played the last half hour of the game with 10 men, they were never outplayed on the pitch and each and every player fought for Fenerbahce, without any fear of losing the game. This confidence and quality is what brings success in the international tournaments. This, above all else, is what pleased me with the PSV game.

Now, Fenerbahce has 5 points from the first 3 games of the group. Now, Fener will play two home games and one away game, which is an advantageous fixture for us. If Fener wins one of the home games and draws the other, we will most likely qualify for the second round. However, truth be told, I am expecting much more than that from Fenerbahce by looking at the performances they have been giving in the Champions League. I would not be suprised if we finished this group with 11 or 12 points. This would have been a dream not too long ago, but now, thanks to Zico and the likes of Alex and Roberto Carlos, Fenerbahce has become a "team", not a "group of skilled players" like they used to be...

Success will follow.


Blogger Nathan L. Redd said...

Thanks, Ozgur. I saw the entire match, but I was in Kadikoy and had to go back to Besiktas afterwards. It was really late when I got home so I went to sleep and didn't have time to write anything.

2:21 AM  
Anonymous Hakan Pehlivan said...

I agree, it would have been great to come away with a win in that game. PSV was playing like a low level Super Lig opponent with 25 fouls committed. But 1 point is great for an away fixture and I'm happy about our mentality on the pitch.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Erol A said...

We were robbed in that game. The referee messed everything up. The red card shown to Deivid was clearly not a red card and a penalty should have been awarded when they took down Aurelio in the penalty area in the second half. Even the UK Sky commentators said Fener was robbed by Howard Webb.

2:26 PM  

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