Sunday morning games at the Allianz Parque generally equals a friendly, family-oriented atmosphere. In addition, no do-or-die tension related to Roger Machado, as the coach had been fired a few days earlier, U20 coach Wesley Carvalho temporarily assuming until Scolari’s arrival. Paraná, the adversary, firmly in the relegation zone. Could one ask for more?
For a change, Palmeiras followed the script. Objectivity, pace, mental stability throughout the full 90 minutes. A convincing victory, with Bruno Henrique once again being blessed with a brace: eleven goals so far this season for the defensive midfielder, only four behind Palmeiras top scorer Borja. Lucas Lima scored the third, a thing of beauty. Felipe Melo, suspended, was not missed a bit, Moisés perfectly well executing the task alongside Bruno Henrique. Another highlight was young forward Artur in the starting eleven – the closest thing we have to departed Keno: he worked hard on the right flank, displayed good technique and received well-deserved applause from the stands when substituted for Hyoran in the second half.
It is of course way to early to draw conclusions, but the squad seems to have assimilated well Machado’s dismissal.
With three rounds remaining of the turn of the Brazilian championship, Palmeiras stand in 6th, with 26 points, chasing Flamengo (34), São Paulo (32), Internacional (29), Grêmio (27) and Atlético Mineiro (26).
Scolari´s two assisting coaches are already in Brazil and will command the team as of this week. Palmeiras now face a sequence of three away games: Bahia on the Thursday (first leg, Brazil Cup quarterfinals), América Mineiro on the Sunday (Brasileirão) followed by Cerro Portenho on the 9th (Libertadores Cup, first leg, group of 16 knockout phase). The man himself, Big Phil, will likely arrive in São Paulo only on Friday, meaning that the assisting coaches and possibly Carvalho will be the responsible for conducting Palmeiras in the important game against Bahia. A performance similar to yesterday’s against Paraná should bring a descent result.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!