If the 32nd week of Süper Lig was a scenario for a movie, it would be rejected as far-fetched. İstanbul Başakşehir entered the week with 66 points and had four points between them and their only rival in the race, Trabzonspor with 62 points. Başakşehir could have become the champions had Trabzonspor lost points and Başakşehir won. Both games, Başakşehir against Konyaspor and Trabzonspor against Denizlispor, started at the same time but they went in completely different directions. When the half-time whistle was blown, Başakşehir was losing 1-3 and Trabzonspor was winning 1-0, bringing the gap to only a point. In this shocking moment, everyone thought that Trabzonspor would return to the race with a blast. However, as it always happened in the Süper Lig, surprises continued with full force.
When the games ended, both Başakşehir and Trabzonspor lost against two relegation battlers. Başakşehir made a comeback and entered the final minutes of the game 3-3, only to concede one more from Konyaspor just before the final whistle. Although it was a surprising result, the comeback showed that Başakşehir did not demoralize but remained calm. That is why even though they lost three points, they passed the week without losing their confidence.
On the other hand, Trabzonspor completely collapsed against Denizlispor in the second half, something no one understood how it happened. They learned that Başakşehir was losing during the half-time, and everyone expected them to react positively to this. Nonetheless, the team became even more imbalanced, made simple mistakes and conceded a goal immediately after the start of the second half. The team simply lost control after conceding the equalizer and attacked very carelessly, leaving enough space and time for Denizlispor to launch counterattacks. As a result, Trabzonspor lost yet another three points in a game where it had the lead, making the total number of lost points in such games 27.
The last thing a manager wants in the final weeks of the league is an anxious team, and Trabzonspor’s inconsistent results point in that direction. Added to that, Trabzonspor, albeit being the most dangerous team in offence, still has not found a solution to its defensive problems. I think the manager Hüseyin Çimşir is not aware of his team’s structural problem that he thought changing central defenders would change something. What the team needs is a daring defensive strategy to match its offensive goals, but Çimşir could not deliver that so far.
Mentally, Başakşehir seems like a much more resilient team than Trabzonspor and the current forms of these two teams make Başakşehir the favourites of the league at the moment. As both teams will play against weak opponents in the following two weeks, consistency will be crucial to get three points and when it comes getting results without mistakes, Başakşehir has a clear advantage with its balance over Trabzonspor. Of course, Başakşehir has arguably the better squad and the better squad depth and they are also the oldest, most experienced team in the league. In contrast, Trabzonspor is made up of relatively new, young players who still need to prove themselves. I think this also explains the difference between stress levels and balance. Regardless, Başakşehir is only two games away from its first championship, just six years after it was founded!