If you see a Carlton fan this week, please be kind. The way his team finished in the top eight on Sunday was heartbreaking.
The Blues, who wanted to win to keep their hopes of the finals alive, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and a 24-point three-quarter deficit was brutally turned into a one-goal deficit. Losing points in front of a record 88,287 at the MCG.
Likewise, it was the second week in a row that the Blues had lost to a top-four team in the dramatic final quarter after Melbourne secured victory in Round 22.
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The loss would make Carlton the first VFL/AFL team to make the finals after every round since the 1977 Carlton side.
“Everything that’s good about our game is embedded in what Collingwood has done. Everything that breaks your heart forever as a football fan is what Carlton did then,” Melbourne champion Gary Lyon told Fox Footy.
While the Magpies have been lethal in front of goal of late, the Blues have squandered their chances, scoring just 0.6 out of 20 inside 50s last season alone.
“Carlton had a chance to seal it early in the fourth quarter. They had a chance to put it to bed and they didn’t,” St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt told Fox Footy.
“We respect Collingwood and we’ll be talking about them over the next couple of weeks because they’re going on an incredible wave, but that was a thrashing of the top order.
“They killed it two weeks in a row.
Seven-time All-Australian Nathan Buckley said the Blues finished the game +21 in 50s and +54 for contested possessions and still lost.
They did a lot right, but in the end it won’t impress anyone because they gave up eight points, 95 percent of the last two games, and then they couldn’t get them over the line,” he told Fox Footy.
There are a lot of ‘what ifs’ in Carlton’s season and it feels like a waste to them now. But they’ve definitely made big strides this year. This is not the time for Carlton fans to feel that way, but they will surely come.
Port Adelaide premiership midfielder Ken Corns tweeted that Carlton had “lost his invincibility…”.
As for the Magpies, it was the eighth time since Round 13 that they have lost by three or more goals and won a game, according to the ABC’s Corbin Middlemas.
“What an amazing game,” Buckley said.
We’ve seen enough of it in the last couple of months. We knew Collingwood was coming in the last quarter – and they took their chances and Carlton didn’t.
The hero for Collingwood was again Jamie Elliott who scored a superb run from a tight angle to put the Magi ahead with two minutes to go.
“It’s very special,” Elliott told Channel 7 after the game. “We’ve been saying we just ride with spirit and emotion. The joy and excitement we’re bringing every week, we’re riding that.”
“We were 24 points down – ideally we’re not in that position – but when we’re down, we play aggressively and it suits our style of play. I need it every quarter, but then we take classes.
“We’ve got a chance to cause some chaos in the finals and who knows where that will take us.”