If last weekend’s victory against São Paulo was perfectly timed, the same can be said about yesterday’s impressive away win against Grêmio. Beating the current Libertadores champions with authority, at their home grounds, showed that Palmeiras’ performance against São Paulo was no lucky shot, a one off. Clearly, Roger Machado and the squad are finding the mesh.
In addition to beating an expected direct title contender, the three points propelled Palmeiras into third place in the tables, only three points behind leader Flamengo (could tonight increase to six, should they emerge victorious from the carioca derby against Fluminense).
Yesterday’s victory was the more impressive, considering the alternative line-up Roger picked in response to injuries, suspensions and World Cup call-ups: Jaílson; Marcos Rocha, Luan, Thiago Martins and Victor Luis; Felipe Melo, Bruno Henrique, Moisés and Hyoran; Dudu and Willian. The defensive line held up well, although Jaílson had to work a bit.
Of course, the whole squad put out a solid performance. Willan was brilliantly served twice, first by Dudu and then by Hyoran, to bag his brace in style. Before opening the scorecard, he had sent two balls into Grêmio’s woodwork. A splendid night for the forward, now Brasileirão top scorer with six goals, alongside Roger Guedes (another Palmeiras player, but on loan to Atlético Mineiro).
Palmeiras clearly perform better against stronger teams, teams that have offensive aspirations; Palmeiras’ offensive combines pace and technique and excels when there is a bit more room to manouver in. Upcoming away game against Ceará, at the very bottom of the tables with four points after four draws in ten rounds, is likely to be a very different experience and Machado needs to find the formula also for these type of games.
Below, yesterday’s highlights for your viewing pleasure.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!