The games played after the Copa América effectively halted every positive aspect Palmeiras were showcasing before the break. Yesterday, the streak of 18 consecutive home wins in the Brazilian Championship ended and the team conceded at home for the first in this the current edition. And for the fifth consecutive game, Palmeiras conceded the opener and were not able to turn the tables.
Weverton; Jean, Antônio Carlos, Edu Dracena and Victor Luís, Thiago Santos, Bruno Henrique (Matheus Fernandes) and Scarpa (Raphael Veiga); Dudu, Hyoran (Carlos Eduardo) and Arthur Cabral.
Gustavo Scarpa scored the equaliser for Palmeiras. Thiago Santos received a yellow card. Arthur Cabral finally received an opportunity, but did not impress.
Green light off for today.
Players that are the foundation of this team are not performing up to standards. Yesterday, Bruno Henrique was probably the worst player in our starting-eleven and Dudu was desperate to resolve thing alone, making plenty of mistakes. That being said, Scolari did field a very alternative lineup, Weverton, Bruno Henrique and Dudu being the only regulars; a massive, and failed, gamble. Did Scolari want to send a message, saying “look, the guys you lot keep saying I should field are not the solution”? Or have hubris struck so hard, he believed just about any lineup would suffice against Vasco da Gama? Or is there an urgent need to rest almost all players ahead of Tuesdays decisive clash against Godoy Cruz?
Once a fortress that no one could get past, Palmeiras defensive line again allowed an early opener for the opponent. Being back on the scorecard makes everything much more difficult: Scolari’s Palmeiras have been designed to score the opener, then patiently wait for the opportunity to kill the game in a fast counter-attack. Something happened during the Copa América break that Felipão is not knowing how to fix.
The round was terrible for Palmeiras, with victories for Santos, Flamengo, São Paulo, Internacional… Santos overtook Palmeiras, opening two points. Flamengo are trailing Palmeiras by only three. And next weekend, Palmeiras play Corinthians away.
The return leg for the Libertadores Cup is just around the corner. On Tuesday 23rd, the team faces Godoy Cruz at the Allianz Parque. A draw conceding less than two goals is enough to through, but what we really need is a convincing victory ahead of the Derby. We’re entering a decisive week, no doubt.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi & Kristian Bengtson
*featured image credits: Cesar Greco / Ag. Palmeiras