Yesterday’s game was atypical. Felipão opted for giving Luan, Cicinho and Juninho a rest; with Valdivia he however had no option as El Mago again suffers from a muscle injury and will be back only in two week’s time. Thus, we saw some new faces, which was of course the idea with the hole exercise. On the right flank, Arthur made his debut as from kickoff. About in the second half, much awaited Hernán Barcos aka “the Pirate” entered the pitch for the first time in the Palmeiras jersey. The complete squad: Deola; Artur, Henrique, Maurício Ramos and Gerley; Márcio Araújo, Marcos Assunção, Patrik (João Vitor, at 10’/2°H) and Daniel Carvalho (Chico, at 30’/2°H); Maikon Leite and Fernandão (Barcos, at 15’/2°H).
Three players had a really, really bad night yesterday: Maikon Leite embodied Sonic the Hedgehog and did absolutely nothing but sprint, sprint, sprint; Deola failed miserably at XV de Piracicaba’s first equalizer and Maurício Ramos idem at the second equalizer. I’m excluding left-winger Gerley from the list as he didn’t directly influence the final result, but boy, did he also play badly…
Thankfully, a few of the boys also had a good night: Carvalho again showed his qualities and not only distributed passes but scored the first goal with 15 minutes of play; Assunção scored the second with a perfect free kick before crossing the ball to Arthur – our third star of the night – who rushed a perfectly timed header to the back of the net and close the scorecard for the night. Highlights below.
Don’t be alarmed by the result nor by the terrible mess in Palmeiras defence for a large part of the game; new players need breaking in and yesterday the “witch was on the loose”, as one would say in Portuguese. Scolari should be able to sort this out.
And Barcos? Well, he didn’t give us much but then again, how could he? When he got on the pitch the team was already loaded with defensive midfielders and desperately trying to avoid suffering the equalizer. He’ll have plenty of time to prove his worth.
The skunks only drew yesterday against Ituano and Palmeiras thus rose to the top in the Paulistão thanks to the three, fresh points. In a few hour’s time SPFC play Comercial: if they lose, Palmeiras remain #1 at least until Sunday.