As Grandesso of the Maluco pelo Palmeiras pointed out: after 13 rounds of the Brazilian championship, Palmeiras compute five draws. In four of these – against Botafogo, Ceará, Flamengo and Santos – Palmeiras were winning the game, dominating it, yielding in such an uncalled-for manner as to drive supporters crazy. Just like yesterday.
Against Santos, after taking the lead through Lucas Lima already in the sixth minute, Palmeiras behaved as if the scorecard read 3-0. Slow cooking the game, carefully dosing efforts, rather passing the ball sideways or back than taking a risk offensively. No pace, little drive, no aggressiveness. Palmeiras looked lazy. And as regularly happens, were punished for it, suffering the equalizer with only 15 minutes left on the clock. The team hit overdrive, but too late: a ball in the woodwork was as close as we got.
The four victories-turned-draws equal eight points, enough to place Palmeiras in the lead. Six of those eight points were lost in the last three rounds.
Something’s not ticking the way it should. When Palmeiras really need the goal, they put tremendous pressure on the adversary. Problem is, that pressure should be present more often, for longer periods. Allowing for a greater lead and for suffering that odd goal without endangering victory. Under Coach Roger Machado, Palmeiras have developed a rather consistent style of play. There is steady development and the pieces are following instructions carefully. Next step is for all the pieces to snap together instinctively, increasing player confidence and allowing for more boldness and creativity. This will take a bit more time, but we’ll get there. Patience.
On Sunday afternoon, Palmeiras receive Atlético Mineiro. The Belo Horizonte side lost several players during the World Cup break, most prominently striker Roger Guedes. Yesterday, Atlético suffered a 2-0 away defeat to Grêmio. A Palmeiras victory this weekend is imperative.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!