Hamburg - It's been a week of ups and downs for Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfielder .
'We had to fight really hard'
One minute the 20-year-old was lapping up the praise after deservedly making the 40-man shortlist for the 2014 European Golden Boy award, before being booed off the park on his return to former club Hamburger SV the next.
"I'm not bothered if I get whistled at a bit," Calhanoglu claimed in the build-up to Saturday's trip to the Imtech Arena, innocently unaware that his every touch would be jeered to the rafters in an eventual 1-0 reverse. The Turkey international's bright start to the contest didn't do him any favours in the popularity department, but in the end it proved a rather trivial subplot to something of a quantum leap in HSV's faltering campaign.
"This was such a huge relief, not only for me, but also for the whole team," admitted Hamburg captain Rafael van der Vaart after grabbing the match-winning penalty to give his side their first home victory in five attempts all season. "We had to fight really hard against a top side - a top Champions League side. We had to fight right up until the last to secure all three points."
'No reason to panic'
Coincidentally, the Red Shorts' last Bundesliga win in front of their own fans came against Leverkusen back on 4 April. Calhanoglu was among the goals that evening, although it ultimately took a relegation play-off win - on away goals at that - to keep the German top-flight's self-styled dinosaurs afloat. The former Karlsruher SC man scored 11 times in 32 appearances for HSV in 2013/14, but found the pull of Bayer 04 too big to turn down last summer.
It was a similar story for Heung-Min Son a year earlier, the South Korean joining Leverkusen three years after shooting to fame at the port city club. His reception at the Imtech Arena was nowhere near as frosty on Matchday 10, but like Calhanoglu the 22-year-old preferred to leave the post-match talking to some of his less castigated peers. "That bit of luck was missing today," said Werkself goalkeeper Bernd Leno. "We've got no reason to panic. We'll analyse the game and take the positives from it."