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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Luke McLaughlin

Universitario left dancing in the dark to celebrate Peruvian title

Alianza Lima vs Universitario. The lights are switched off at the final whistle.
Turn out the lights, the party’s over. Composite: Liga1Max


Petty. Immature. Hilarious. Call it what you like, Alianza Lima produced a glorious segment for our Fun and Games in South America department after losing out to Universitario for the Peruvian league title on Wednesday night. Following a 1-1 draw away in the first leg against their city rivals, Alianza were confident of clinching glory in the return game as the clásico title playoff concluded. But goals from Edison Flores and Horacio Calcaterra would ultimately consign them to a 3-1 aggregate defeat.

Handshakes all round at the final whistle, then, and a guard of honour for the newly-crowned champions if the hosts were feeling generous? A crate of lager and a few stories from the season shared together in the changing room? Tremendously, not a bit of it. The moment the referee blew the final whistle, sparking celebrations among the Universitario players after sealing the club’s first title since 2013, the stadium was plunged into darkness. Not quite complete darkness: the LED advertising boards, displaying a Peruvian non-profit educational organisation, were still shining brightly, but still. Unexpectedly decent reach for their marketing today, mind.

Anyway, if Alianza’s intention was to deny their foes the limelight in their moment of glory, it has backfired in the most spectacular way. Social media abomination Twixxer sent clips properly viral just like the good old pre-Elon days, and there are millions of people who had barely heard of Universitario now aware of their success, while also tipping a hat in the direction of Alianza’s sh1thousery levels. It wasn’t all plain sailing in the Peruvian capital, however, with clashes in the aftermath between rival fans.

Unsavoury scenes aside, though, the lights incident remains a very funny moment. The question remains: was it premeditated or an instinctive act of petulance by the person with access to the Matute’s fusebox? A communication from Liga 1 claimed that due to the “power outage” it was agreed for safety reasons to cancel the post-match presentation ceremony. Those festivities have been moved to Sunday afternoon and will now take place at Estadio Monumental, the home of Universitario. So not only have the new champions enjoyed this title at their bitter rivals, they also get to lift the trophy in their own stadium and prolong the title party until the weekend at the earliest. ¡Salud!


Join Scott Murray and Niall McVeigh from 5.45pm GMT for hot Big Vase clockwatch coverage, taking in Ajax 2-2 Brighton, Toulouse 0-2 Liverpool, West Ham 1-1 Olympiakos and Rangers 1-2 Sparta Prague.


“It’s clear: we are very disappointed, we started the game so well – the best 10 minutes of the season – we are winning the game and the red card changes everything. We [then] concede two goals before half-time which should never count … I’m very disappointed about such decisions. The game is never meant to be like this – this has nothing to do with football” – Erik ten Hag gets some complaints about ref Donatas Rumsas and the VAR off his chest after Manchester United’s wild 4-3 Big Cup defeat at Copenhagen left them bottom of their group.

Mason Mount of Manchester United looks dejected
Oh Manchester United! Photograph: James Gill/Danehouse/Getty Images


Was a pity to see John Lawton unrewarded for his ‘occasional’ gag (yesterday’s Football Daily letters). I’ve seen nine other missives recently with clever wordplay, any of which could have won a prize, but sadly no pun in 10 did” – Brandon Stockwell.

In defence of Andrew Kluth (Football Daily letters passim), his objection was not (as Ken Muir, yesterday’s letters, thinks) to the idea that Glenn Hoddle and his wife could be photographed standing in front of a back-garden swimming pool. His objection was surely to the idea that they could pose simultaneously: a) in front of their fancy detached house; and b) in front of their back-garden pool. Consider the underlying mise-en-scène, which necessarily involves the photographer facing the front of the house, with the pool on the other side of the house from the photographer. Quantum superposition would indeed be required for the Hoddles to pose ‘in front of their fancy detached house and back-garden pool’, since they would need to be simultaneously: a) between the photographer and the house; and b) between the house and the pool” – Stephen Pearson.

Losing managers, pre-VAR: all the referee’s fault. Losing managers, post-VAR: all the referees’ faults” – Darren Leathley.

John Myles (Tuesday’s letters) may be interested to learn that this year’s Origami World Championship will be shown on ‘paper-view television’. I know because I came runner-up last year. I should have won really but folded under pressure” – Elaine Shaw.

Send your letters to Today’s letter o’ the day winner is … Darren Leathley, who gets a copy of Tinseltown: Hollywood and the Beautiful Game – a match made in Wrexham. You can buy a copy here.

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