Intense but goalless affairs both at the Morumbi and the Allianz Parque took the decision to penalties, where Palmeiras drew the shortest straw. Palmeiras could and should have played better: the defence continues fairly solid but the team is not as compact, which has left the centre-lock more exposed as of late and the attack with less options. Key players like Dudu, Goulart and Scarpa are not yet tuned as a unit nor in their prime technically and physically. Add the non-stop external pressure (press, sports tribunal, TV Globo)… It could have gone either way but this time tipped against us, which is unfortunate but “normal”, in particular when we’re talking a derby of this magnitude.
Come Wednesday, Palmeiras receive Junior Barranquilla in the penultimate round of the group phase. A victory is of absolute importance: Palmeiras are the runners up in group 6 with 6 points, one short of leaders San Lorenzo. Melgar (4) and Junior (0) complete the tables.
After Wednesday’s game, two full weeks of rest and training ahead of the final and possibly decisive away game against Melgar. Time enough for Felipão and the men show some real progress on the pitch; after all, the Brazilian Championship kicks off by the end of the month.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!