Unexpectedly, Palmeiras did what supporters were expecting for a game against the worst team in the group, who was forced to field a number of bench-warmers due to a covid outburst in the squad. The first half resembled the last few games, with Palmeiras displaying an ineffective football, but counted on Tigre’s limitations to open the scorecard with Raphael Veiga in the 34th minute. Ahead on the scorecard, Palmeiras found the necessary spaces to score four more goals in the second half, with Gustavo Gómez, Zé Rafael, Veron and Rony.
For the third consecutive year, Palmeiras finish the group stage with the best overall performance. Although in empty stadiums, the team will have the advantage of playing the second leg at home all the way to the semifinals. Our opponent in the round-of-16 will be known next week and will feature one of the teams finishing second in their group.
Weverton; Gabriel Menino (Mayke), Felipe Melo, Gustavo Gómez (Émerson Santos) and Viña; Danilo, Zé Rafael (Ramires) and Raphael Veiga; Veron, Wesley (Rony) and Luiz Adriano (Willian).
Viña and Zé Rafael received yellow cards.
As in the 5-0 victory against Bolívar, Palmeiras were able to create many opportunities to score, mostly in the second half, when the opponent was already knocked out. Although it doesn’t mask the creativity problems, the team at least broke the sequence of defeats and takes some pressure off interim coach Andrey Lopes.
The posture and performance at the beginning of the game was disturbing, signalling that yet another melancholic defeat – the fifth consecutive – was in the script.
We don’t know our future. Miguel Ángel Ramírez rejected coming to São Paulo for the moment, alleging his wish to conclude the semester at Independiente del Valle. Reportedly, Palmeiras’ next targets are Gabriel Heinze, ex-Vélez, and Quique Setién, ex-Barcelona, but coaches are naturally hesitant to embark on a journey with the green and white guillotine, where having the best campaign of the Libertadores Cup is not enough to secure the job. Since 2014, no less than 12 coaches have come and gone at Palmeiras.
Having interrupted the sequence of four defeats, Palmeiras need to keep the momentum, transferring the positive energy to the Brazilian League. The team travels to Goiânia this weekend to face Atlético Goianiense on Sunday 25th. A victory would be extremely important in order to remain close to the top-6 that renders a spot in the 2021 Libertadores Cup; aim for the Brasileirão title seems a bit of a stretch, to be honest.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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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.