Corinthians 2-0 Palmeiras – first defeat of the year

In the ninth match of the season, Palmeiras were defeated for the first time in 2018 in the worst way possible: a derby against Corinthians. As we’ve grown used to in the last derbies, this one also had some weird decisions from the referee that helped the black and white side.

During the first minutes, the two teams created few chances. Jadson fired away a free kick close to Jailson’s goal and Palmeiras tried to react minutes later, Antonio Carlos’ shot blocked by Henrique.

The first big chance came to the green side in the 18th minute: Willian recovered the ball in the attacking half, passed it on to Tchê Tchê who found Borja, but Cássio sprinted to make his first save in the game. Corinthians had their biggest chance one minute later when Thiago Martins lost the ball to Romero while trying to protect it in the deep end; Antonio Carlos intercepted the pass that would find Rodriguinho clean inside the box.

Minutes later, Fagner had his criminal moment, as in every match. Lucas Lima was the victim, receiving studs to the thigh, but the referee preferred to not award the foul as the ball remained in Palmeiras’ domain: Willian fired a shot easily saved by Cássio, then Fagner received a yellow.

It was looking as the teams wouldn’t break the deadlock before half time, but then Corinthians were allowed to pass the ball around uninterrupted for one minute and 23 seconds, culminating in Gabriel finding Rodriguinho facing Palmeiras’ goal. Two of our men swallowed the bait, going to the ground as Rodriguinho threatened to take the shot before clearing to the left and advancing to score a beautiful goal in the 38th minute. Not much else happened before the half-time whistle.

The second half started with Gustavo Scarpa coming off the bench to replace Willian. Palmeiras showed improvement and with 8 minutes on the clock, Lucas Lima found Borja behind the defenders but the pass was a tad too long and Cássio again sprinted out to make the save just in time. Feeling Palmeiras’ momentum, the Corinthians keeper took three whole minutes to recover from god-knows-what, expertly cooling Palmeiras down.

The next big event defined the match. Corinthians forward Renê Junior came face to face with Palmeiras keeper Jaílson, there was a rough clash, but the referee allowed the action to continue as Corinthians still had domain. Ten seconds of havoc in Palmeiras’ penalty area, as Corinthians took two shots, the latter off target with the ball going out of play. Several more seconds went by, referee Raphael Claus had a look at Renê Junior’s thigh, then awarded Corinthians the penalty and sent Jaílson off. You can even argue the red card was justifiable, but awarding the penalty, after having allowed the action to continue for a full ten seconds after the tackle, Corinthians taking two shots at goal at point blank? Absurd.

Lucas Lima came off in order to have second keeper Fernando Prass come on. The whole spectacle, from Jaílson’s initial fault to Jadson stepping up to the penalty spot (the shot went wide) took six minutes. Add those to the three minutes Cássio “needed” earlier and we’re at nine minutes and counting.

If Palmeiras were having difficulties creating chances when playing 11-to-11, with one man down, the game got even harder. However, as Keno replaced Tchê Tchê, Palmeiras seemed to stabilize and grow, levelling the action, making a draw seem plausible. Unfortunately, in the 33rd minute, another penalty favoured Corinthians, Clayson making no mistake this time, closing the scorecard 2-0.

Referee Claus wrote the final chapter of this pathetic play, adding only 6 minutes of injury time and still so ending the game with 48 minutes on the clock.

Palmeiras lacked in intensity and determination, which contributed to the team’s 4th consecutive loss against Corinthians. However, the scandalous refereeing was the primary game-defining factor. Club president Maurício Galiotte needs to take action.

Upcoming match is a big one: the Copa Libertadores debut. Palmeiras fly to Colombia to play Junior Barranquila on Thursday night. Roger Machado have to keep up the good work, make a few adjustments and keep everyone’s head in place. Palmeiras are a team still in formation. That being said: a good result on Thursday is of outmost importance.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

– – – ooo – – –
by Augusto Anteghini Oazi

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