Cruzeiro 2-1 Palmeiras

It’s all about momentum. Easy to understand, hard to dissect. After all, which are the factors behind Palmeiras playing so well for so many consecutive games, then turn inoperative against Atlético Paranaense and today against Cruzeiro? Sure, a bit of bad luck. And Gabriel’s injury, removing a crucial piece of the defensive puzzle. And yet, there is so much more. Even up front the hesitation is there, our forwards not acting on instinct. The amount of passes not reaching the destination is absurd. Shaky defence. Palmeiras of the first half against Cruzeiro was very similar to what we saw against Atlético, only this time we were lucky going into halftime with the odd goal against us: 2-0 or event 3-0 would not have been unthinkable.

Marcelo Oliveira promoted Cleiton Xavier on Amaral and Alecssandro on Leandro Pereira at the start of the second half, and Palmeiras recovered position and aggressiveness. At 30 minutes, Robinho gave way to Cristaldo, and Palmeiras found the equaliser immediately. At this point Palmeiras were clearly dominating (I say Alecssandro and Cristaldo deserve a place in the starting eleven), although it could swing either way. And it swung, but not in our favour: once again silly mistakes, missed passes and poor positioning allowed Cruzeiro the goal and the three points. Highlights below, including a penalty defended by Prass.

Palmeiras’ fortune: none of the top seven teams won in this round, meaning that the distance to the leader only increased by one point. On the other hand: Palmeiras missed out on a great opportunity to re-enter the top three and really make themselves a force to be reckoned with.

Wednesday, Coritiba away. Then, Flamengo at home. These two games are crucial both to recover positions in the tables of the Brasileirão and to boost confidence for the upcoming Brazil Cup knockout home-and-away against Cruzeiro.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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