Morocco's Belhanda scores quick-fire hat-trick as Galatasaray hit six past Genclerbirligi

Younes Belhanda Galatasaray
The Morocco international produced an outstanding performance as the Lions bounced back to winning ways in the Turkish top-flight

Younes Belhanda scored a quick-fire hat-trick after Senegal striker Mbaye Diagne opened the scoring in Galatasaray’s 6-0 hammering of Genclerbirligi on Saturday.

After Tuesday's disappointing 4-3 defeat to Konyaspor, Fatih Terim's side got off to a flying start at the Turk Telekom Stadium with Diagne starting the party as early as in the first minute.

The effort made the 29-year-old the second top-scorer in the Turkish Super Lig with nine goals, a goal behind Gabon's Aaron Boupendza.

Shortly after the opener, Belhanda turned the encounter to a goal fest with his first goal in the 30th minute, and he then scored two goals within three minutes before the break.

Saturday's heroics was the first time the Morocco star grabbed a hat-trick in a league match since October 2013, when he scored three goals in Dynamo Kyiv's 9-1 win over Metalurh Donetsk.

The African stars' contributions gave Galatasaray a 4-0 lead at half-time before Oulcan Caglayan and Ryan Babel completed the rout with their lone strikes in the second half.

Belhanda was later replaced in the 65th minute while Nigeria duo Jesse Sekidika and Valentine Ozornwafor were introduced as second-half substitutes alongside DR Congo's Christian Luyindama.

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Super Eagles midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo and Algeria's Sofiane Feghouli did not make the matchday squad as they continue their recoveries, from a thigh injury and hamstring injury, respectively.

The emphatic victory fired Galatasaray to second in the Turkish top-flight standings with 33 points after 17 games, a point behind leaders Besiktas.

They will be aiming to build on Saturday's win when they visit Yeni Malatyaspor for a Turkish Cup match on Tuesday before travelling to Besiktas for the top-of-the-table clash against Cameroon's Vincent Aboubakar on January 17.