In a game that only lit up in the last 20 minutes, Palmeiras were defeated by Grêmio and mathematically secured Flamengo the Brazilian championship title, less than 24 hours after the cariocas bagged the Libertadores against River Plate. As icing on the cake, Palmeiras lost their home invincibility and were overtaken by Santos in the tables, dropping to third.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Gustavo Gómez (Ramires), Vitor Hugo and Diogo Barbosa; Thiago Santos, Bruno Henrique and Lucas Lima; Zé Rafael (Willian), Dudu and Borja (Luiz Adriano).
Bruno Henrique scored Palmeiras’ sole goal, converting a penalty. Thiago Santos and Dudu received yellow cards.
None during the game, but a declaration from Alexandre Mattos before the game indicate that some players from the youth divisions will de facto have opportunities next year. Mattos named Vinícius Silvestre (goalkeeper), Pedrão (defender), Gabriel Esteves (left-back), Gabriel Menino and Patrick de Paula (midfielders), Angulo and Gabriel Veron (forwards).
Gómez left the pitch early, with a muscle injury to the back of his thigh. Potentially out for the remainder of the season.
Mano Menezes’ numbers in charge of Palmeiras are still good, but performance in games against stronger opponents (Santos, Corinthians, Grêmio) has been uninspiring. If Palmeiras keep putting out weak performances in the remaining four games… Remember, it does not take much for a coach in Brazil to get the boot.
On Thursday 28th, Palmeiras face Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro. Although the dream of the title is over, the championship is not. Fluminense are fighting relegation and it’s Palmeiras’ duty to push them down the ladder.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi & Kristian Bengtson