On an enchanted night in Buenos Aires, everything went Palmeiras’ way, and with merits. In a bold move, coach Abel took Raphael Veiga out of the starting eleven and crowded the midfield with three young, defensive players to suffocate River’s creativity. Weverton made a magnificent save in the early minutes, bringing the necessary tranquility to withstand River’s initial pressure. Bit by bit, Palmeiras advanced positions. Rony opened the score for the Big Green on the 27 minute mark, Luiz Adriano increased the lead early in the second half, and Viña closed the scorecard in the 60th minute on a beauty of a set piece. An epic away victory against one of the strongest and most technical teams of the Americas.
Palmeiras now sustain an undefeated streak of eleven games in the Libertadores Cup, with nine victories and two draws: the best campaign ever in the history of the tournament. In this year’s edition, Palmeiras are the top scorer with 32 goals, and have the second best defense, with 4 goals conceded. Yesterday also saw Palmeiras surpass Grêmio as the Brazilian team with the most Libertadores victories since the tournament’s start in 1960: 107.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Gustavo Gómez, Alan Empereur and Viña; Danilo (Zé Rafael), Patrick de Paula (Emerson Santos) and Gabriel Menino; Gustavo Scarpa (Raphael Veiga), Rony (Breno Lopes) and Luiz Adriano (Willian).
Gustavo Gómez, Danilo, Emerson Santos and Patrick de Paula received yellow cards, in addition to coach Ferreira.
Palmeiras went to Buenos Aires knowing exactly what to do, and how to do it. Abel Ferreira has not only technically recovered players that were on a low, but has proven that he reads the game exceptionally well. The coach has the players’ full confidence, and that’s when magic starts to happen. Everyone stepped it up yesterday. Special mentioning to Alan Empereur, who replaced Luan only minutes before kickoff; youngsters Danilo, de Paula and, in particular, Gabriel Menino, who all played like seasoned professionals; and Weverton, who saved Palmeiras from the early goal that would have changed the game plan completely.
River had a number of good opportunities, especially when attacking from the flanks.
Off, off, OFF!
Upcoming Saturday, Palmeiras visit the city of Recife to play against Sport, valid for the 28th round of the Brazilian Championship. Palmeiras are currently in 6th position, one game short, with 44 points, 12 points behind leaders SPFC. Will Abel rest key players ahead of next week’s decision against River? Not very likely.
Abel Ferreira and his men celebrate victory or lament defeat for no more than 24 hours. However, here at Anything Palmeiras, we will rejoice for considerable time still.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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*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.