Not pretty, not particularly good, certainly not easy, but Palmeiras nevertheless returned from Rio de Janeiro with three points in the luggage, keeping the pressure on leaders Flamengo, who later tonight play Botafogo. All goals were scored by Palmeiras; Lucas Lima and Mayke (og) in the first half, Luiz Adriano in the second. Luiz Adriano showing his worth, once again, being decisive in his first appearance after injury.
Prass; Mayke, Luan, Gustavo Gómez and Victor Luis; Thiago Santos, Matheus Fernandes and Lucas Lima (Raphael Veiga); Willian (Dudu), Zé Rafael and Deyverson (Luiz Adriano).
Deyverson, Matheus Fernandes, Zé Rafael and Lucas Lima received yellow cards.
Mano Menezes’ bet on an alternative team – with Dudu and Luiz Adriano coming on in the second half to seal the deal – paid off, and many of the regular starters are fresh for the Derby against Corinthians on Saturday. Lucas Lima, who received his third yellow card yesterday, is the only one unavailable.
After Palmeiras’ second goal, Vasco were forced to advance positions and spaces suddenly materialised, allowing for a third and lethal goal, but our players missed several opportunities. Dangerously living on the edge, Palmeiras are. Team learn to take the kill when opportunity arises.
Again, the refereeing trio and the VAR were disastrous. Incredible amounts of time was wasted waiting for decision. Some situations triggered the VAR that shouldn’t, others that shouldn’t, did. Yesterday, luckily, the referee on the pitch was not easily influenced by the VAR, made overall correct readings on the pitch and sustained them throughout VAR replay.
A pitch or a meadow?
São Januário is a historic stadium, but the conditions in which the game were played yesterday were precarious. The pitch was terrible, making the ball bounce and significantly elevating injury risk. Illumination was adequate for a nightclub. Vasco da Gama deserves better. We all do.
Palmeiras’ next game is not primarily related to chasing the title: it’s derby time! Saturday, Palmeiras face Corinthians at the Pacaembu Stadium. Put all predictions, current situation and trends apart: the derby is something else. A solid victory and Mano Menezes will go a long way to capture the Palmeiras supporter’s appreciation.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi & Kristian Bengtson