It’s been a while since Palmeiras last managed a clean sheet. More precisely, not since 12 September of last year, 2-0 against Figueirense. That was 19 round ago.
True, Libertad’s attacking power was unimpressive yesterday, but merits also to Palmeiras’ midfield, compacting the defensive lines, and to centre-back Edu Dracena, making a more than solid debut for the Verdão.
With the exception of Dracena, Palmeiras’ starting eleven was similar to line-ups from the second semester of 2015, saving two uncontested players: Barrios and Vítor Hugo – both taking care of smaller, medical issues. As expected, the action was rather slow and hesitant, Palmeiras displaying the usual difficulties of transition from defence to offense. While the first half was a sleeping pill, things improved rapidly as Marcelo Oliveira started making changes halfway into the second half: Gabriel Jesus, Matheus Salles, Arouca, Alecsandro and Robinho came off; Erik, Thiago Santos, Moisés, Cristaldo and Allione came on. The two goals were entirely constructed by the subs, with Moisés and Erik immediately showing us their potential. Allione opening the scorecard was also particularly fortunate: the young Argentine has not been very happy at Palmeiras and a transfer was eminent, but Marcelo clearly sees him as an important piece in the 2016 squad. Coming on and scoring in the year’s first appearance might help Allione regain both confidence and a more positive attitude. Highlights below.
In the other leg, Nacional beat Peñarol 3-1 to advance to the finals, on Saturday, against Palmeiras.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!