Last week, Palmeiras lost at home to Red Bull before being flattened by Água Santa. Without exaggerating, the double feature can be considered one of the worst moments in Palmeiras’ history, nothing short of total humiliation.
The nightmare could have easily continued into this week. But against Rio Claro, Palmeiras finally showed signs of improvement, compacting more and dominating the weaker opponent as Palmeiras always should. 3-0 at the Pacaembu, with the squad now including players absent as of late, having served their regular or youth national squads – Barrios, Gabriel Jesus and Matheus Sales.
Rio Claro is one thing, Corinthians another. Although a derby is always a derby, of course the odds were in Corinthians’ favour, coach Tite seemingly never failing in extracting the best of his squad.
The game was every bit as level-headed as any palmeirense could have wished for. And if the Verdão showed signs of improvements against Rio Claro, now it was almost as we were observing a different team altogether: the energy, the pressure applied very high up on the pitch, the compacting, even the confidence. It is too early to draw definitive conclusions, but it is nevertheless impressive how Cuca has turned things around in only a few weeks’ time. The collective seems to have found its mesh, which in turn are making the individuals step it up: Alecsandro and Egídio most notably, something completely unthinkable only in mid-March. And Prass… Well, he continues being the absolute reference, the rock. Enjoy the highlights below, you deserve it!
A week in hell followed by a week in relative heaven. Not for the weak. And this is just the build-up for Wednesday’s absolutely decisive away game against Rosario Central, the Argentinians currently sustaining a streak of 22 undefeated home games. As known, Palmeiras need to break that streak to keep the Libertadores dream alive.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!