Fortaleza 0-1 Palmeiras – good enough

credits: Cesar Greco / Ag. Palmeiras

Mano Menezes sustains his perfect record as Palmeiras’ head coach: four victories in four games. The performance was far from outstanding against Fortaleza, but the three points were of the utmost importance to not let the gap to leaders Flamengo – who on Saturday beat Cruzeiro – increase further. With Dudu suspended, coach Menezes opted for Zé Rafael in the starting eleven.

Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Gustavo Gómez, Vitor Hugo and Diogo Barbosa; Felipe Melo, Bruno Henrique, Scarpa; Willian (Carlos Eduardo), Zé Rafael (Lucas Lima) and Luiz Adriano (Deyverson).

Marcos Rocha received a yellow card and is suspended for the next game, Jean likely to be the replacement of choice on the right flank.

Green light
The defensive solidness seems to be back. Palmeiras allowed Fortaleza very few scoring opportunities, none of them a real threat. Yesterday marked Palmeiras’ third consecutive clean sheet. Vitor Hugo is back with a vengeance.

Yellow light
Palmeiras struggled to create good opportunities to score and had to count with a bit of luck to find the winner. Oscillation in performance is to be expected when a new coach starts implementing his style of play, but the team cannot afford losing sight of the leaders. Luckily, the on paper more modest competition in the recent rounds have allowed for careful implementation while maintaining the perfect record.

Red light
Fortaleza acted in a despicable manner, overcharging visiting Palmeiras supporters at the ticket box. Palmeiras complained and the courts ruled in our favour, but instead of adjusting prices Fortaleza suspended sale to the visitors, directing the tickets to their own supporters instead. Result: few palmeirenses in the stands and an explosive situation both inside and outside the stadium, as Fortaleza supporters tried to ambush palmeirenses, grab their banners, etcetera. Add police brutality to the mix. All utterly deplorable.

Next challenge
Palmeiras play CSA on Thursday 26th, at the Pacaembu Stadium. The team from Alagoas are out of the relegation zone for the first time in the championship and experiencing a bit of a momentum, having lost just two of their last nine games. Nevertheless, anything but a alviverde victory must be considered a disappointment.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

– – – ooo – – –
by Augusto Anteghini Oazi & Kristian Bengtson

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