Unless Palmeiras win the Brazil Cup, Luiz Felipe Scolari is out the door faster than he can spell “fiasco”. Yesterday’s defeat at Ilha do Retiro against Sport leaves Palmeiras with one point and in the relegation zone after three rounds of the Brasileirão. Yes, it’s a long competition with its 38 rounds, but early points count just as much as late points and catching up is hard.
Yesterday’s line-up consisted of Bruno, Artur (Cicinho – 32′ 2ºH), Leandro Amaro, Henrique and Juninho; Marcos Assunção, Márcio Araújo and Valdívia (Daniel Carvalho – 32′ 2ºH); Luan (Mazinho – 32′ 2ºH), Maikon Leite and Barcos. Sport, with coach Vágner Mancini, came with Magrão, Moacir (Hamilton – 45′ 2ºH), Bruno Aguiar, Edcarlos and Rivaldo (ex-Palmeiras); Tobi, Rithely, Marquinhos Paraná and Thiaguinho; Jheimy (Reinaldo – at halftime) and Felipe Azevedo.
Not that Sport dominated the game, not at all: Palmeiras had more possession, created more chances and seemed confident. The line-up chosen was an interesting and offensive one. Still, the many passing errors and other individual errors gave Sport the few opportunities needed to score not only once but twice. A draw would have perhaps better reflected the spectacle, but margins and “luck” – whatever that is – are not and have not been on Palmeiras side for quite some time. Highlights below.
Palmeiras must show power of reaction already on Saturday against Ronaldinho Gaúcho’s new club Atlético Mineiro: recovering some confidence ahead of next Wednesday’s Copa do Brasil first semi-final against Grêmio is crucial. Tense weeks ahead. And, as usual, the backstage at Palmeiras is more than a handful. We’ll look into this and more in upcoming posts.