For the fifth consecutive game in the Brazilian Championship, Palmeiras did not leave victorious. And although the gap to Santos was reduced to three points, now Flamengo and Atlético Mineiro are trailing us by only two points. The championship has become a lot more interesting, which is bad news from a palmeirense perspective.
Palmeiras put out a good performance in the first half, got an early goal, kept the pressure up, exercised control. When Felipe Melo was sent off just before halftime, everything was put at risk, and in the light of the above, a draw cannot be considered a bad result. Dudu commanded the attack yesterday in splendid form, and the debuts of Vitor Hugo and Luiz Adriano were well in line with expectations.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Luan, Vitor Hugo and Diogo Barbosa; Felipe Melo, Bruno Henrique and Zé Rafael (Thiago Santos); Dudu, Scarpa and Luiz Adriano (Deyverson).
Marcos Rocha, Zé Rafael, Scarpa, Diogo Barbosa, Dudu and Thiago Santos received yellow cards. Felipe Melo was sent to the showers early.
Despite playing one man short for almost all of the second half, Palmeiras still created good opportunities. Dudu was on fire and in addition to scoring two goals, he was responsible for the red card awarded to Gregore ten minutes from stoppage time, levelling the headcount in the race for victory. As previously mentioned, both Vitor Hugo and Luiz Adriano made solid debuts.
The referee awarded two penalties to Bahia with VAR assistance: the first, a handball by Diogo Barbosa, was absolutely clear but nevertheless took almost five minutes to execute; the second, very debatable, took another five minutes. On the weekend that the Premier League debuted their use of VAR, the Brazilian referees showed just how incapable they still are at operating the tool.
Felipe Melo does not learn from his mistakes. Just a few minutes before halftime, the game calm, Palmeiras in the lead, he goes airborne and violently crashes into an opponent, elbow to face: very dangerous and completely unnecessary. Melo was deservedly punished with a red card, which changed the game scenario completely.
Another full week of rest and training for Palmeiras ahead of the curious away-away-home sequence of three consecutive games against Grêmio. Less rest for our opponent, who this upcoming Wednesday play Athlético Paranaense for a spot in the Brazil Cup finals. Against Athlético, Grêmio coach Portaluppi will certainly field his strongest side. He is then likely to throw an alternative lineup against Palmeiras on Saturday for the Brasileirão, resting key players ahead of the Libertadores quarterfinal clash on Tuesday next week.
Steamroll modus on, Palmeiras! Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
– – – ooo – – –
by Augusto Anteghini Oazi & Kristian Bengtson