Since the Allianz Parque’s inauguration, Grêmio have escaped from playing at Palmeiras’ new stadium due to shows being held at the venue. But in these four years, there has been no escaping from the defeats – although instead they have been inflicted upon the gaúchos at the Pacaembu stadium.
Facing a title contender, Felipão opted for a very strong starting-eleven: Prass; Mayke, Luan, Gustavo Gómez and Diogo Barbosa; Thiago Santos, Bruno Henrique and Moisés; Willian, Dudu and Deyverson.
As of kick-off, Dudu was on fire and already in the 9th minute, crossed the ball that Deyverson got his toes on to open the scorecard for the Verdão.
The early goal allowed Palmeiras to settle slightly, wait for the opponent and explore the many counter-attacking opportunities. In the 26th minute, Dudu received the ball from Deyverson and delivered it to Bruno Henrique, but the shot was saved on the goal line by a Grêmio defender, the keeper already beaten.
We went to halftime with Palmeiras very much in control, Fernando Prass hardly having seen any action at all.
The exact same scenario played out in the second half. Palmeiras’ defence was impeccable, allowing Grêmio superior ball possession but never in good position to conclude attacks. Palmeiras awaited the opportunities to launch into rapid counter-attacks, normally with Dudu distributing or concluding.
In the 79th minute, the final nail in Grêmio’s coffin: Deyverson fought defender Bressan for the ball, gained possession and fired away with his weaker foot to throw the larger part of the 32.000 spectators at the Pacaembu into a state of delirium.
Palmeiras defeated a second title contender in a row in a very convincing manner, in spite of the, again, disastrous refereeing: two clear penalties in our favour were ignored – a topic that received attention in the post-game TV channels.
Palmeiras approach the finishing line of the two championships in best possible shape. In this year’s Brasileirão, Felipão is yet to suffer defeat. 13 games, conceding only three goals. Absolutely impressive.
Another week of training and rest before Palmeiras, on Sunday, return to the Pacaembu to welcome Ceará. Despite being in the relegation zone, Ceará have won four of their last six games and will not give up the three points easily: Palmeiras have a tough nut to crack on the quest to bag the Brazilian Championship for the tenth time.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi