Palmeiras 0-1 Atlético/MG

Pacaembu stadium. Before a little more than 7.000 paying spectators, Palmeiras attempt their first victory in the Brasileirão 2012 against Atlético Mineiro. Palmeiras’ starting eleven consist of Bruno; Cicinho (João Vitor, 26′/2ºH), Thiago Heleno, Henrique and Juninho; Márcio Araújo, Marcos Assunção, Daniel Carvalho and Luan (Mazinho, 17′/2ºH); Felipe (Maikon Leite, 9′/2ºH) e Barcos. Atlético, commanded by Cuca, are formed by Giovanni; Marcos Rocha (Serginho, 20′/2ºH), Rafael Marques, Réver and Junior Cesar; Pierre (ex-Palmeiras), Richarlyson, Danilinho (Leonardo Silva, 43′/2ºH) and Ronaldinho; Bernard (Leandro Donizete, 35′/2ºH) e Jô. This is Ronaldinho Gaúcho’s debut at Atlético.

Palmeiras initiate a blitz as soon as the referee blows the whistle, but it lasts for no more than ten minutes. The Verdão show tremendous difficulties in maintaining ball possession and commit many passing errors. Palmeiras’ front men, only occasionally having ball contact, are always receiving with their backs against the goal. Soon enough Palmeiras seem cornered, backing home, forming the first defensive line on their own half of the pitch, allowing Atlético to put pressure as soon as the ball swaps possession. Luan plays a decent first half and Márcio Araújo stays glued on Ronaldinho, preventing him from effective participation, but 0-0 in halftime is an excellent result for Palmeiras, who look like the visiting team.

The 2nd half starts without modifications. With three minutes of clock running, Cicinho does absolutely no effort to block a cross which Jô skilfully and firmly meets with his forehead to open up the scorecard for Atlético.

Scolari doesn’t wait long and promotes Maicon Leite on Felipe, but it is Atlético who score once again: Jô receives another of those long, deep passes, beats Henrique fare and square for possession and nets. The referee thinks differently and nullifies the absolutely legit goal.

At 23′, Bruno saves Palmeiras at another terrific header from Jô. And at 29′, one more (dubiously) nullified goal for Atlético. Palmeiras seem two numbers too small in every aspect. During the whole game, the Verdão create four chances, all four free kicks taken by Assunção, the last two – at 38′ and 42′ respectively – almost splitting the crossbar. But that is all, as you will see from the game recap below.
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I feel unable to repeat the “time to refocus on the Brazil Cup” discourse: “focus” doesn’t seem to be the problem, but technical limitations, weak tactics, weak spirit, weak leadership. The team is falling apart, deteriorating game by game. Scolari seems equally lost and – dare I say – almost indifferent. I’m seriously worried.

To finish things off, I’ve taken the liberty to translate a few words by Rodrigo Barneschi as posted on the always passionate and excellent Forza Palestra blog:
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Many of us present yesterday night at the Pacaembu will be in Porto Alegre this coming Wednesday. We’re heading south – at least in my mind – not for believing in those who will be entering the pitch but for still remembering glorious nights of knockout rounds in the past.

We’re going because the green jersey (and keep it green, you bastards!) is entering the pitch. We’re going because the jersey (still) carries weight. We’re going because we need to fight and for still allowing ourselves to dream. That’s all there’s left. Palmeiras have four (or two) more games this year. The rest will be torture. Not in sessions of 90 minutes in the cold of a Saturday night, but in one never-ending, strenuous nightmare stretching over the 34 remaining rounds.

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8 Comments

  1. Just wanted to thank you for the website and all the time and effort you put into it. I’m a new Palmeiras fan. I’ve watched the national team for a while but never tried getting into the club level, Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. But decided to try to this season. Not exactly sure what it was but something attracted me to Palmeiras. Even though it seems like bad timing due to their poor form so far this season. I’m still glad I picked Palmeiras to root for. I’ve recently found your website which makes following the team a lot easier since my Portuguese is rather limited. Despite the current season not looking very good so far, I’m sticking with the team. The new stadium looks great and will be a great asset for the team. But just wanted to let you know your website helped me becoming a Palmeiras fan. I look forward to the website and hope to have a Palmeiras jersey in a few weeks.

    1. Mate, that’s simply the best feedback anyone can hope for. Thanks not only for becoming a palmeirense and sticking with the team (yes, times are rough, have been for some time and will get worse before improving) but also for taking the time to leave your comments. Cheers, hope to see you a lot around here, Rod!

      ps. Where and how are you getting your jersey? Let me know if you need any help, language-wise or whatever.

      1. Yeah I admit finding Palmeiras jerseys aren’t quite as easy I’d hope. But I’ve found one site that offers English and prices in US dollars that seems to offer authentic jerseys. Granted it looks like it’s last years jersey. But I thought I’d start there and then eventually look for this season’s jersey somewhere. I really like last year’s jersey style, so I wasn’t going to complain. At least it’s something to get me started.

      2. Where are you based? You know, it might even prove cheaper to get it from a Brazilian online store. As I said, I can assist if needed. And going for last year’s jersey, with the FIAT brand, sounds like a good idea: they look nice and come quite cheap (roughly US$40 +p&p). ust admit I’m not very fond to this season’s model.

        Löfström, uhu? Yup, def Swedish! Would you know from which region in Sweden?

        Cheers,
        Kris

      3. A Brazilian store might be cheaper then. I had found a UK site but I’m pretty sure it was twice as much as the price you mentioned. I’m located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. I’m not positive where in Sweden they were originally located. But when they left for the US they were in Ekenäs, Finland, in the southwest part of the country. I know there’s a number of people with Swedish ancestry there. Maybe they were Swedish Finns.

      4. Rod, you could check out the links on Anything Palmeiras. I’d recommend Mundo Palmeiras and Ponto Verde. If they don’t ship abroad (or don’t take foreign credit cards), I could help you out shipping the jersey to you. You could send me the money by paypal or something. Just let me know. Cheers, Kris

  2. Oh and something else of interest, my grandmother was a Löfström, so I’ve got some Swedish ancestry as well. : )

  3. Thanks, I’ll double check but I looked through some of the links and not sure if some of those links have last year’s jersey in the size I’m wanting. But if I have any questions or problems I’ll ask. Thanks for the help. : )

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