Man of the Match: Matías Rodríguez’s forays into attack were responsible for much of the pressure Colo-Colo felt in the first half. The right wing/full back’s surges seemed to provide the extra man needed to break the opposition’s defense. Ultimately, the Argentine was rewarded with two goals, even if the second game in garbage time.
Packaged for takeaway:
- The Chilean Clasico (contested between the country’s two most successful clubs) was never close. By halftime, La U (Universidad) had 68 percent of the possession, had outshot Colo-Colo 6-0, and was up a man and a goal.
- In a tournament of turmoil for Colo-Colo (the 29-time champions sit 11th and haven’t won a title in four tournaments), this is the low point. The five-goal defeat is their most-lopsided loss to Superclásico,
- The sending off was ridiculous. Colo-Colo’s Mauro Olivi had deserved his first card, going through the side of Universidad midfielder Marcelo Diaz mid-way through the first. On the second, Diaz had come in from behind to take out Olivi, yet Patricio Polic gave Olivi his second yellow.
- Prior to that, tenacious pressure from La U had packed Colo-Colo’s midfield four deep in their own end. The visitors were frequently seen with eight players within yards of the edge of their penalty area. With Olivi and striker Esteban Parades staying near the center line (Olivi did drop, at times), Colo-Colo played with a broken formation, with Diaz and central defender Jose Rojas ardently preventing any repair of the link between midfield and attack.
- At about the half-hour mark, Colo-Colo appeared to crack. The constant pressure had gotten to them. Their defending eight were sitting deeper, fouling more, and making no effort to carry the ball out of their own end. Universidad attacker Felipe Gallegos was starting to break down a right side of defense that couldn’t see halftime come soon enough.
- Yet Colo-Colo was within minutes of intermission with the score 0-0. With Olivi (and teammates) irate at the sending off, you can’t help but see it as the match’s turning point. Three minutes later, Colo-Colo goalkeeper Francisco Prieto misjudged Diaz’s restart from near 40 yards out on the right flank, the ball got inside the near post, and La U was up at halftime.
- Dead balls would be the bane of Colo-Colo. La U’s first three goals came from Diaz’s service from restarts. Rodríguez scored the first of his two goals in the 48th minute when defender Leandro Delgado’s missed assignment left him alone to volley past Prieto. Igor Lichnovksy headed home La U’s third thanks to a Diaz restart.
- Rodríguez scored his second in the 92nd minute, moments before Polic mercifully ended it. It was a just reward for the Argentine back, whose work down the right allowed La U to seamlessly switch from 3-4-3 and 4-3-3, constantly giving Colo-Colo another point of pressure to address.
- Because of the card, it is difficult to be too hard on Colo-Colo. In front of an amazing crowd in a derby, an unjust card took them out of it. La U, one of the best teams in this half of the world, never let up, with their bench visibly celebrating their fifth, unnecessary goal. The lopsided result leaves Colo-Colo in 11th, outside looking in on the playoffs (with three matches left in the qualification stage).
- For La U, it was brutal show of strength, the club playing their Libertadores team in league for the first time this tournament. Of the squad’s first choice players, only forward Junior Fernandes failed to make Jorge Sampaoli’s starting XI. Even playing reserves for much of the tournament, La U is now six points up on the competition. They’ll almost surely go into the eight-team playoffs with the top see as they seek their third straight title.
And now for an excessively long compilation of all five goals: