The fairy tale is over. The streak of games undefeated in the Brazilian championship stopped at 33, after yesterday’s 2-0 defeat to Ceará. A full 360 days since last time we tasted bitter. The performance put out by the team is a source of concern, but there is no reason to panic. Yet.
The scorecard does not provide a true portrait of the game. Although Palmeiras played poorly, the team created more opportunities than the opponent and had a penalty dubiously cancelled by the VAR when Ceará’s lead was the odd goal. The home team seized their two opportunities to guarantee the victory.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Luan, Gustavo Gómez, Diogo Barbosa; Felipe Melo, Bruno Henrique and Scarpa (Willian); Zé Rafael (Raphael Veiga), Dudu (Ramires) and Deyverson.
Felipe Melo and Gustavo Gómez received yellow cards.
Palmeiras’ excellent start in the Brazilian Championship allow for some unforeseen blunders, like yesterday’s. Palmeiras are still the leader and plays the next game at home against an opponent that is fighting relegation. That being said, Santos today equaled Palmeiras’ score after beating Botafogo away 1-0.
In three consecutive games, Palmeiras went to halftime behind on the scorecard. The team is clearly not showing the same defensive strength as before the Copa América break. Felipão needs to fix this, and fast: on Tuesday, it’s Libertadores Cup.
Deyverson is on an all-time low: he lost the ball that eventually led to Ceará’s opener, missed every opportunity and made wrong decisions all the time. The only explanation for his persistent appearance in Scolari’s starting eleven is that Arthur and Borja are performing really, really bad at training. Then there’s Zé Rafel, and Marcos Rocha, and Bruno Henrique, and… Suddenly, a drastic drop in performance from a handful of regulars. Not good.
Ramires made his debuted yesterday, right after the penalty cancelled by the VAR, and one minute later Ceará scored their second. Let’s pretend he hasn’t debuted yet.
Everyone need to stay calm and focused. On Tuesday 23rd, the team faces Godoy Cruz in the first leg of the Libertadores Cup round of 16. Felipão knows the importance of this game and has the required experience to recover the team. A draw in Argentina would, under the relative turbulent circumstances, be a tremendous result.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi & Kristian Bengtson