A little reminder that nothing comes easily. Palmeiras have signed players like nobody else and considerably raised the quality of the squad, but today it’s only a squad, not yet a team. Against Ponte Preta for the second round of the Paulista championship, Palmeiras’ starting eleven contained three debutants: João Paulo on the left flank, Alan Patrick as offensive midfielder and Dudu up front. During the course of the game, striker Rafael Marques also made his debut. Ponte Preta did a good job applying pressure high on the pitch and shrinking spaces overall, complicating Palmeiras’ transition from defence to offence. Even so, the team created many chances but saw them barred by the excellent performance of Ponte Preta keeper Matheus Inácio.
No reason for panic. Training, adjustments, time. We’re only at the very beginning of a long journey with these men.