With Valdivia back on the pitch (and playing well) there were certain hopes for a rebirth of sorts, although no man carries a team alone. Yesterday’s result, which under “normal” circumstances would be considered tragic, was in fact more or less expected. Palmeiras seemed superior to América Mineiro a times and Assunção opened up the scorecard with a free kick; nothing new there. Palmeiras were however incapable of converting the superiority into a comfortable lead and saw América equalising by launching the ball into the penalty zone and catching our defenders off guard; nothing new there either. The finishing 45 minutes were agonising, as a visibly beaten Palmeiras lacked creativity to penetrate Atléticos’ defence and bag the three points necessary to propel the Verdão into the Libertadores Cup classification zone. Instead, América showed their teeth in the final moments of the game and again – as against Ceará – Palmeiras were lucky not having to defend a penalty in order to maintain the result. Highlights below.
We know all too well how Palmeiras behave against weaker teams. The coming games, against stronger opponents, will show if there’s any possibility of reignition or if we should just put 2011 behind us.