Luxemburgo opted for a rather different line-up since he couldn’t count on the four regulars Weverton, Gustavo Gómez, Gabriel Menino and Viña, called up for their National Teams. With Luan and Mayke playing on the “wrong” side of the field, Palmeiras put out an overall poor performance – spare the last 20 minutes.
Botafogo, capped by their own limitations, didn’t seize the opportunities to open the scorecard in the first half, however, with goals in the 46th and 50th minute, Palmeiras were destined to finally face defeat after a streak of 20 games unbeaten. Willian’s goal in the 77th minute allowed palmeirenses to hope for another draw, but after the same Willian failed to convert a penalty in the 85th minute, the fiasco was a fact: Palmeiras lost to a team that had but one victory so far in the championship.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Felipe Melo, Luan and Mayke (Scarpa); Patrick de Paula (Ramires), Bruno Henrique (Zé Rafael) and Raphael Veiga (Lucas Lima); Rony (Veron), Wesley and Willian.
Wesley, Jailson, Marcos Rocha and Lucas Lima received yellow cards.
In the last 20 minutes, Palmeiras really shifted gear, putting severe pressure on the opponent. Although too little too late, is served to show that there are options to the lukewarm, hesitant performances we’ve been treated to as of late.
Willian has credit with supporters and scored the goal that allowed Palmeiras to fight for the equaliser against Botafogo. However, he missed (at least) another three clear opportunities to score yesterday, including the penalty saved by former Palmeiras keeper Diego Cavalieri in the dying minutes of the game.
Luxemburgo had the unbeaten sequence on his side when critics pointed out the poor performance of the team. With the defeat against Botafogo, this is now water under the bridge. Impacted by the four players serving their National Teams, he still had a better squad available than Botafogo’s. More than the defeat in itself, the performance of the team in the first 60 minutes was disheartening.
Palmeiras next game is at the Allianz Parque, on Sunday 11th, against São Paulo, an opponent sporting a poor track record against Palmeiras when playing away. But Luxemburgo is under pressure, and São Paulo yesterday overtook Palmeiras in the tables, pushing one point ahead. A victory on Sunday is of the utmost importance in order not to loose contact with Atlético Mineiro and Flamengo.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
– – – ooo – – –
by Augusto Anteghini Oazi & Kristian Bengtson
*Here at Anything Palmeiras, we love football. We love Palmeiras. We are always keen to see Palmeiras play, and keen to write about it for you. But we’re against the return of football in a country that still hasn’t controlled the coronavirus pandemic. We express our deepest sympathy to the families whose loved ones have been taken by the disease.