Corinthians vs Palmeiras: 6 Classic Derby Paulista Clashes

Ewan Murray

The Derby Paulista is part of 90min's 50 Biggest Derbies in the World Series.

One word describes Brazil's relationship with football better than any other: obsessed. 

The nation lives and breathes soccer, producing some of the most entertaining games and technically-gifted superstars the world has ever had the pleasure of witnessing. But even within the unadulterated beauty of Brazilian football, some matches take priority.

The Derby Paulista between Corinthians and Palmeiras is one of those.

A rivalry with its roots in Europe, the fiercely competed Sao Paulo derby has produced some of the most breathtaking and pivotal moments in Brazilian club football, spanning just over a century. 

Without further ado, let's tuck into six of the classic matches enjoyed by these two bitter enemies.

Palmeiras 8-0 Corinthians (1933)

Just imagine losing to your closest rivals 8-0. Just imagine it. Unfortunately for Corinthians, they don't have to.

Admittedly, you have to go back to a time before World War II, the invention of super glue, the microwave, McDonald's, but nevertheless, it still happened.

As you can imagine, there is very little official record of this fixture, however we do know the man of the match: Luis Imparato. The attacker scored three times and grabbed two assists as Verdao swept aside their bitter rivals, while Romeu Pellicciari will feel a little hard done by that his four-goal contribution didn't merit individual recognition.

The result is still the biggest margin of victory in the Derby Paulista to this very day and will likely never be surpassed.

Corinthians 5-1 Palmeiras (1982)

Moving rather quickly towards the modern day, Corinthians enjoyed their equal-biggest Derby Paulista victory in 1982, beating Palmeiras 5-1. While they had already managed such a scoreline 30 years earlier, this performance showcased the brilliance of Brazilian legend Socrates - who netted for O Timao from the penalty spot and sparkled throughout.

Corinthians would go on to win the Paulista Championship, beating Sao Paulo to clinch the trophy.

Corinthians 2-0 Palmeiras (2-4 Pens) (1999)

On their way to their first, and only, Copa Libertadores trophy in 1999, Palmeiras knocked out Corinthians in the quarter-finals.

Having won the first leg 2-0, Verdao slumped to a defeat of the same scoreline in the return fixture, forcing the game to penalties. Goalkeeper Marcos proved to be the hero for Palmeiras, helping his side past Corinthians in a dramatic and heartbreaking shootout. 

Marcos would write his name into Palmeiras folklore in the final, helping Verdao to the trophy following another shootout with Colombian side Deportivo Cali.

Palmeiras 3-2 Corinthians (5-4 Pens) (2000)

​For you understand the true story of this thrilling encounter in the Copa Libertadores semi-final in 2000, we have to take you back to the first leg.

Following an end-to-end classic which finished 4-3 - in which Palmeiras equalised with the hosts on three different occasions, prior to a 90th-minute winner from Corinthians' Vampeta - a place in the Libertadores final against Boca Juniors was still very much up in the air.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's Palmeiras, however, were aiming much higher than Corinthians, looking to defend their trophy and win the Libertadores for only the second time in their history. Following another typically open clash, Verdao ran out 3-2 winners, leaving penalties to once again decide the fate of both sides.

Up stepped Palmeiras keeper Marcos, who saved the decisive penalty from Corinthians legend Marcelinho, seeing Verdao triumph in the Derby Paulista once again -  although penalties would be their undoing in the final where they would narrowly lose out to Boca.

Corinthians 0-0 Palmeiras (2011)

Yes, you read that correctly: 0-0.

This may not have been an absolute swashbuckling goal-fest - although there were four red cards - but it arguably held greater weight for Corinthians than 99% of past Derby Paulista matches. This is because O Timao had the chance to clinch the title with even a draw against their local rivals, with Palmeiras knowing they could upset the party if other results went in their favour.

However, following an exciting but ultimately goalless draw, Corinthians won a then fifth league title by just two points. Palmeiras ended up finishing 11th, while having to look on at the jubilant celebrations of their rivals come the final whistle.

Corinthians 3-2 Palmeiras (2017)

100 years after the first Derby Paulista, this clash was a fitting reminder of just how fantastic this rivalry can be.

Yet again it proved to be an enthralling and all-consuming encounter which set hearts racing from pretty much the first kick. Goals from former Manchester City man Jo, West Ham defender Fabian Balbuena and Paraguayan winger Angel Romero sealed an important three points for O Timao, who moved further clear atop the league table.

Corinthians would go on to win the competition for a seventh time, beating Palmeiras to the trophy by nine points.