After 27 days, Palmeiras finally played an official match. Some palmeirenses were already feeling abstinence crisis, others creating imaginary problems after some below-average performances during mid-season friendlies.
Fortunately, everything returned to normal after yet another solid exhibition at the Allianz Parque. The victory against Internacional, with a sole goal from Zé Rafael, is Palmeiras’ 11th consecutive. The Big Green now enjoy the advantage of playing for a draw in the return leg next Wednesday.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Luan, Gustavo Gómez and Diogo Barbosa; Felipe Melo (Thiago Santos), Bruno Henrique and Lucas Lima (Raphael Veiga); Dudu, Zé Rafael (Willian) and Deyverson.
Felipe Melo and Luan received yellow cards.
Palmeiras proved that the defensive errors exposed in the friendly games during the Copa América break were mere route deviations, already fixed by Felipão. The duo Luan and Gustavo Gómez added 90 more minutes to their streak of clean sheets, now totaling 1.081 minutes (not counting injury time). Club record holders are Vágner Bacharel and Marcio, who in 1987 played 1.221 minutes straight without conceding.
Despite the victory, the feeling among palmeirenses was that the score could and should have been more to Palmeiras’ advantage. There were several wasted counter-attacks, the most irritating of them Deyverson missing a simple pass to Lucas Lima in a 3 vs 1 opportunity.
Wilton Pereira Sampaio, despite being on the FIFA squad, is one of the worst referees in Brazil. He already has a history of wrong decisions against Palmeiras and yesterday he spoiled the game, stopping it at every moment, resulting in less than 45 minutes of actual ball playing.
After more than seven months recovering from injury, Willian was back on the field to a standing ovation at the Allianz Parque. You might remember last year, Willian serving Deyverson to score the winner against Vasco, guaranteeing Palmeiras’ tenth Brazilian title. Good luck, Bigode!
São Paulo, away, on Saturday 13 July, for the Brazilian Championship. Palmeiras begin its sequence of two games per week: during the week, a knockout match; on the weekend, the Brazilian Championship. If Palmeiras continue classifying, this will go on for ten weeks straight.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi