In the last game before the Copa América break, Palmeiras played well enough to secure the tenth consecutive victory, increasing the unbeaten sequence in the Brazilian Championship to 32 games.
As usual, Weverton had little to no job at all and the scorecard was built with one goal in each half, signed Deyverson and Bruno Henrique, two beautiful plays.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Antônio Carlos, Edu Dracena, Diogo Barbosa; Felipe Melo, Bruno Henrique (Thiago Santos) and Lucas Lima (Moisés); Zé Rafael, Dudu (Scarpa) and Deyverson.
Lucas Lima received a yellow card.
Palmeiras go into the Copa América break with incredible 25 points out of 27: 8 victories and one 1 draw. 18 goals scored, two conceded and seven clean sheets, Palmeiras’ campaign is the best in the history of the Brazilian Championship under the current format.
A very subtle yellow light to some defensive errors that were not seen in previous games. Edu Dracena and Felipe Melo’s mistakes brought about good scoring opportunities for Avaí, the limited opponent unable to take full advantage.
VAR again. It seems that Brazilian referees are doing everything they can to turn the public opinion against the tool. Checking if Deyverson was onside needed not take more than 30 seconds but we had to endure more than three minutes before the VAR made his decision. Several other games in this ninth round featured VAR issues. It’s more than proven: good technology does not eliminate bad refereeing.
Before the game, Palmeiras paid homage to the 20 years anniversary of the Libertadores title in 1999. Former players that participated on the campaign like Marcos, Alex, Galeano, Júnior Baiano and many others were present, each received a replica of the trophy and the love from the crowds in the stands.
Palmeiras’ next battle will not take place on the pitch: on 18 June, the STJD (Superior Tribunal of Sports) will rule on the Botafogo vs Palmeiras game. Botafogo want a rematch, arguing that the game-winning penalty awarded Palmeiras resulted from a breach of the rules, as the referee had already reinitiated the game (a waving motion with the arm, followed a second later by halting the game, awaiting a VAR positioning). There are two very strong counter-arguments to Botafogo’s claim: 1) the referee had shown Deyverson the yellow card and for a game to reinitiate after a booking, the referee must blow his whistle, which did not occur; 2) the VAR rules clearly states that no use/misuse of VAR can be taken as justification to annul a game.
Should the STJD nevertheless open Pandoras’ box and rule in favour of Botafogo, Palmeiras will certainly appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in Switzerland.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi & Kristian Bengtson