Well, well, well…. Criciúma didn’t dominate, but surely “deserved” a lot more than leaving the Heriberto Hülse stadium empty handed. Palmeiras were unrecognizable, nervous and without creativity even though Valdivia and Bruno César were on the pitch. With 20 minutes Criciúma opened up the scorecard with veteran Paulo Baier and absolutely nothing indicated Palmeiras would equalise, much less turn the game around. On the contrary: the referee managed to not grant Criciúma a scandalously clear penalty after Tiago Alves placed his boot on Criciúma forward Silvinho’s chest while simultaneously clearing the ball with his arm. Still, somehow… With less than 10 minutes to stoppage time, Leandro took one of those rare shots and it deflected off a defender and voilà: 1-1. The goal filled Palmeiras with adrenaline and the pressure was on. Minutes later, Wesley masterly swerved a corner to meet Kardec’s forehead and decree the final score. Sweet. But also rather embarrassing. At least if you ask me. Nevertheless, a great start to the 38-rounds long championship: only Cruzeiro and Palmeiras bagged three away points.
Valdivia underwent a special, clinical exam at a neuromuscular lab last week and the results were surprisingly positive: the chief medic asserted that Valdivia is in splendid form, much contrary to the condition the same medic found the midfielder in exactly two years ago. “Any injury he by chance contracts will be completely disconnected with his previous problems. An excellent work has been done here”, he concluded, making reference to Palmeiras’ medical department, the training routines set up to recover Valdivia and build his muscles up, and the athlete’s efforts to look after himself.
Bruno César on the other hand… Let’s dearly hope he’s not destined to take Valdivia’s place in the medical department. Halfway through the second half against Criciúma, Bruno César felt the back of his right thigh and a muscular injury has now been confirmed: we won’t see the midfielder back on the pitch until late May.
Luís Felipe, now there’s a surprise. The backstabbing brat was yesterday reintegrated into the squad by decision of Paulo Nobre. Surely Palmeiras can use a good right-back, but that can’t be the full story. I suspect Luis Felipe has shown enough regret to have directors and Kleina conclude he deserves a second chance. We’ll see how eager he is to show his worth, as he’ll certainly be leaving before the end of the year. How will the squad will receive him? And supporters? A few good games and he’ll be considered a valuable asset for the club. Nevertheless, he’ll have to work like never before to somewhat dilute the bad taste he left in our mouths. If that’s even possible. Time will tell.
Oberdan Cattani has left
the hospital and returned home the coronary care unit, continuing his recovery at the Bandeirantes hospital [thank you Sara Tavares for the update].
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!