Athletico Paranaense come from behind to eliminate reigning Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras

By Sports Desk September 06, 2022

A dramatic late comeback was needed for Athletico Paranaense to book their spot in their second-ever Copa Libertadores final, securing a 2-2 draw away at Palmeiras after a 1-0 win at home in the first leg.

Palmeiras controlled the first leg, finishing with 63 per cent of the possession while Athletico scored from their only shot on target, so when Gustavo Scarpa equalised on aggregate less than three minutes into the second leg, it appeared the reigning back-to-back champions would run away with the tie.

With 11 shots to three in the first half, it was all Palmeiras in front of their home fans – until a VAR review deemed centre-back Murilo Cerqueira's challenge worthy of a straight red card.

Everything changed after half-time, as it was now Athletico controlling 62 per cent of the ball and dictating play, but in the 55th minute Palmeiras took control as Gustavo Gomez found the back of the net to make it 2-0, and 2-1 on aggregate.

Needing goals, Athletico subbed on Pablo, who paid immediate dividends when he scored one minute after his arrival in the 64th minute.

Pablo then turned distributor for the decisive strike, finding David Terans in the 85th minute to stick a dagger into home fans and secure the 3-2 aggregate victory.

It will be Athletico's first appearance in the final since 2005, where they lost to Sao Paulo.

Related items

  • Girona lose further ground in LaLiga title race with narrow defeat at Mallorca Girona lose further ground in LaLiga title race with narrow defeat at Mallorca

    Girona lost further ground in the LaLiga title race as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Mallorca.

    Girona were looking to close the gap on league leaders Real Madrid – who drew 2-2 with Valencia on Saturday – but missed their chance to do so when Jose Copete smashed the home side in front just after the half-hour mark.

    Fewer chances fell in the second period but the visitors were kept at bay by a Mallorca side who threw bodies on the line for a result – chances for Portu and Savio went begging as the hosts held on to climb further away from the drop zone.

    The first chance of the match fell to Girona when Miguel Gutierrez’s cross found the head of Ivan Martinez inside the area but his header went straight to home goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.

    Mallorca’s first meaningful attack came when Giovanni Gonzalez picked the ball up outside the area and fired from range but his shot kept rising above the crossbar.

    Mallorca were knocking on the door for an opener and got their reward on the half-hour mark after a corner fell to Copete inside the box and he slammed the ball into the roof of the net for his first goal of the season.

    Girona were looking to respond instantly and had a chance three minutes later – Savio looked to equalise in spectacular style but saw his effort go high and wide from outside the box.

    Mallorca went into the break with a narrow one-goal lead and almost had a second four minutes after the interval but Antonio Raillo’s header from a Dani Rodriguez corner floated over the crossbar.

    Chances were few and far between in the second period and while Girona shared most of the possession, their opponents looked to catch a second on the counter attack, this time Abdon Prats’ drilled effort whistled just wide of the far post.

    Girona were beginning to look a lot more threatening and had a couple of openings when Portu’s goal-bound effort deflected over the crossbar before Savio saw one blocked behind in similar fashion, a couple of minutes later.

    The away side continued to probe in the final minutes as Yan Couto opened up a chance inside the box and fired towards goal but Rajkovic had to be alert to tip the ball over the woodwork to condemn Girona to a third defeat in four.

  • Now he is winning games – Pep Guardiola talks up Phil Foden’s impact on Man City Now he is winning games – Pep Guardiola talks up Phil Foden’s impact on Man City

    Pep Guardiola praised fantastic Phil Foden and said the Manchester City midfielder is developing into a world-class player after his wonderful, derby-winning display against Manchester United.

    Nobody expected anything other than embarrassment at the Etihad Stadium for Erik ten Hag’s stumbling Red Devils, yet Marcus Rashford’s scorcher gave them a shock half-time lead.

    United were under the cosh for large periods before and after the break, finally buckling as 23-year-old Foden scored a superb leveller in the 56th minute before then firing City ahead 10 minutes from time.

    Erling Haaland added gloss in stoppage time but there was no doubt who the star of the show was in Sunday’s important 3-1 victory for Guardiola’s title-chasing team.

    “He is right now this season (one of the best players in the Premier League),” the City boss said of man-of-the-match Foden.

    “He’s been the best so far. I always had the feeling he would score goals, in training sessions, always I had the feeling but now he is winning games.

    “To become a world-class player at that age you have to win games and he always played good, always had an incredible work ethic. Doesn’t matter what position, he doesn’t complain.

    “He lives to play football but now he is winning games. He played a false nine at Bournemouth and was unbelievable. Today after he missed the first chance against (Andre) Onana he became a little bit anxious. That is for his age, he will learn on that.

    “But Rashford scored an unbelievable goal and Phil scored an unbelievable goal too.”

    Foden helped the treble winners get out of a hole on Sunday after City fell behind for the 12th time in the league this season.

    It was their first-ever Premier League comeback win against United and means they have recovered 21 points from losing positions this term.

    The result put them back within one point of leaders Liverpool ahead of next weekend’s mouth-watering battle between the sides at Anfield.

    “We have Copenhagen on our mind and we will have time after to talk about Liverpool,” Guardiola said ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

    “We have a lot of points still to play for and different places to go.”

    United bowed out of Europe before Christmas so there are no distractions before Saturday lunchtime’s return to Premier League action at home to embattled Everton.

    The injury-hit Red Devils have regressed during Ten Hag’s second season and sit an eye-watering 19 points behind leaders Liverpool, who they face in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

    Similarly concerning is the fact that sixth-placed United are 11 points off Aston Villa in fourth and six behind fifth-placed Tottenham, which could yet be enough for Champions League qualification.

    But Ten Hag does not believe United are that far behind City when not beset by injuries and felt key decisions hurt his battling side on Sunday.

    “On defining moments, we didn’t have it on our side because just before the 1-1, I think Rashford was on another break,” Ten Hag said.

    “And just before 2-1, there was (Alejandro) Garnacho in a breakthrough. I think we were really close to win or at least get a draw here.

    “I will not say it was a tackle (on Rashford) from Kyle Walker. They both run, but Rashy confirmed to me it was contact.

    “I saw it back, it was very soft, but you will understand when you are on a full-speed run, if you get a little touch then you are out of control and I think that is what happened.”

    Asked if this match highlighted a chasm between the teams, under-fire Ten Hag said: “No, I don’t think so. Absolutely not. We have many problems in injuries and, still, we had an opportunity because it was really small margins.

    “We could have scored a second goal in a debatable moment and in the second debatable moment, so you see it’s not that big. Especially when we have everyone on board we can be competitive.

    “I think also we showed, for instance, in the cup final against them when it’s really close but don’t forget City, in this moment, are the best team in the world.”

  • ‘We call him the sniper’ – Phil Foden lives up to nickname in Manchester derby ‘We call him the sniper’ – Phil Foden lives up to nickname in Manchester derby

    Manchester City captain Kyle Walker lauded “sniper” Phil Foden after his brace helped secure a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

    Foden cancelled out Marcus Rashford’s brilliant first-half opener with a fine strike of his own 11 minutes after the break.

    And the Stockport-born playmaker added another finish in the 80th minute before Erling Haaland wrapped up a Manchester derby victory in stoppage time.

    Walker, asked about Foden’s stunning equaliser, told Sky Sports: “You know when he comes in on his left foot…we call him the sniper, because he likes to shoot.

    “He likes a shot, so when he comes in on that left foot, you know he has the quality and the calmness and composure to pick his spot and I thought he took his goal fantastically well.”

    Foden then switched over to the left side, from where he scored his second and earned City a big victory in their Premier League title challenge.

    Walker added: “The second, probably coming off the left-hand side, you don’t really see Phil in that position but for him to find the corner as he has done, I think that just shows his flexibility.

    “He’s even been trusted down the middle as well this year, which I think is a big part of the responsibility he has taken on. We lean on him and we need important players like him.

    “He loves a shot, he practices, he puts in the work and he’s always doing extra shooting. His goals are coming, he’s reaping the rewards and he needs to keep these standards up.

    “I think this season he’s been nothing short of first class. That’s the standard he sets for himself, that’s the standard we set for him, the manager (Pep Guardiola) and that’s the standard he has to keep up now.”

    Foden, who now has 18 goals in all competitions for City this season, said: “That’s my aim, to turn up in the big games.

    “That’s what I want to do and I think this season I’m proving that. I just need to keep working hard on the training pitch and keep putting performances like that in, keep working hard.

    “I understand what it means for the fans, a derby at the Etihad, it means everything for me. To score as well is even better, but overall to get the win was the most important thing today.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.