Robin van Persie played the role of pantomime villain as he instigated the sending off of Dusko Tosic before scoring the winner in Fenerbahce’s fiery 1-0 Turkish Cup round of 16 win over bitter rivals Besiktas.
Besiktas were much the better team in the first half and went close several times through Anderson Talisca, but their chances received a major blow just before the break.
Van Persie and Tosic collided off the ball and wrestled each other to the ground, with the Dutchman appearing to knee his counterpart in the ribs and catch him round the back of the head with a flailing elbow.
Tosic’s decision to go head-to-head with the striker in retaliation resulted in a straight red card, as Van Persie reacted theatrically and the Besiktas defender then had to be hauled away by team-mates to prevent him resuming his row with the former Netherlands international.
Van Persie then added insult to injury 18 minutes from time, finishing off a rapid Fenerbahce counter-attack with a tap-in before celebrating in controversial fashion, sliding past Besiktas captain Oguzhan Ozyakup – who came through Arsenal’s ranks when the Dutchman was there – while shouting something in his direction.
The match continued to be littered with altercations and displays of indiscipline during the final stages, but Fenerbahce kept their cool to book passage into the next round of the cup and will now be considered big favourites to lift the trophy, with Galatasaray knocked out 2-1 by Istanbul Basaksehir on Saturday in Emmanuel Adebayor’s debut.