If beating Santos 3-0 was just what the doctor ordered two weeks ago, yesterdays 0-1 loss against Fluminense was on the other end of the scale; not only because it would have felt great to teach the tricolor carioca and that Martinuccio fellow a lesson, but more importantly because all teams ahead of us drew or lost in this the 11th round of the Brazilian Championship. It turned out Palmeiras lost out on a great opportunity to advance to second place in the tables and reduce the gap to Corinthians to six points.
Fluminense started better and São Marcos saved us on a couple of occasions. However, Palmeiras did also create a few good opportunities in the first half – especially with Maikon Leite – but was unable to score. With very strong and sometimes violent marking on the midfield from both teams in the first half, the game opened up a bit more in the second. Palmeiras had been controlling the action reasonably well, but fell in production and in the end didn’t resist the final pressure from Fluminense. Watch the highlights below.
Suffering a goal in an away match is obviously not the end of the world, and Palmeiras’ defence continues as one of the most solid of the season. The current problem lies in the attack. There’s lot of individual talent, but players are not pulling together, at least not yet. I’m still positive that given a few more rounds, Kleber, Maikon Leite, Valdivia and Patrik will make all the difference. But we’re not there yet, not even close, to be honest. And time is ticking. Some players, like Luan and Marcos Assunção, were booed at the end of the game. Coach Scolari didn’t approve and said during the press conferense that he and nobody else should be blamed, in case anyone was to blame at all.
Three points – Palmeiras’ first as a visitor – are absolutely necessary on Wednesday against Figueirense of Florianópolis (state of Santa Catarina) if the Verdão want to maintain any serious aspirations of winning the title this year.