The game destined to be the turning point for Palmeiras, cementing the chase for the championship title, took a different direction. Although Palmeiras effectively blocked Santos throughout the game, not enough was achieved offensively, partially due to the heavy rains that soaked the Allianz Parque pitch. Nevertheless, the second half was basically Santos against the ropes, Dudu missing an open goal shot and then… The ice bucket.
Palmeiras did not deserve defeat, but that is irrelevant. Corinthians drew against Cruzeiro and Grêmio beat Fluminense. As it stands, Corinthians lead at 55, followed by Santos 47, Grêmio 46 and Palmeiras 43. That is a 12 point gap, with 12 rounds to go. The top six get a spot in next year’s Libertadores. Or the top seven if Cruzeiro – who already secured their spot through the Brazil Cup title against Flamengo earlier this week – are among the top six.
The Brasileirão title is a far, far shot but not impossible: the last five rounds rendered Corinthians five points, while Palmeiras bagged ten. If that pattern is maintained, we’d go into the last two rounds with a two-point difference. Optimism is my middle name.
The championship now takes a ten-day break due to WC qualifiers. Thursday the 12th, Palmeiras receive Bahia at the Pacaembu stadium, home venue as the Allianz Parque host a number of music concerts. If Cuca is serious about remaining in 2018, better continue showing evolution.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!