Abel Ferreira repeated the line-up from the game against Corinthians except for Marcos Rocha, who replaced Mayke. Unfortunately, the performance from last Monday did not repeat. Willian missed a great opportunity already in the 3rd minute, but after that, Flamengo dominated the midfield and created numerous chances to open the score, most of them denied by always excellent Weverton between our posts, and a bit of luck. In the dying minute of the first half that luck ran out, as we were treated to a bizarre scene, where Kuscevic cleared a ball on the goal line only to see it slam into Luan and bounce back into the net.
Palmeiras came back sharper after the break, but remained without teeth. The game trotted along at a rather moderate pace, with Abel Ferreira making a few substitutions to spare Luiz Adriano, Viña and Willian. In the 83rd minute, the nail in the coffin, as Flamengo seized a corner kick to score their second and put final numbers to the game.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Luan, Kuscevic, Viña; Danilo, Gabriel Menino, Zé Rafael and Raphael Veiga; Willian and Luiz Adriano.
Raphael Veiga and Luan received yellow cards.
Weverton saved Palmeiras at least three times against Flamengo and continues to prove he is a world-class goalkeeper.
The formation that worked so well against Corinthians failed against Flamengo. Palmeiras didn’t maintain ball possession and had to rely on long balls from the defenders directly to Luiz Adriano. Could have worked, as both Luan and Danilo are good passers, but tonight, our team captain was left way too lonely up front, which seriously limited his options.
No one should be blamed for continuing to nourish the dream of an 11th Brazilian League title, but the reality points in a different direction. Even if we count on Palmeiras beating Vasco in that postponed game from the first round, we remain in fifth position, five points behind leaders Internacional. With seven rounds to go and two cup finals to play, it’s probably wise to let the League go, focusing our energies on the Brazil Cup and the Libertadores Cup.
Tonight was the first out of four games in a 10-day time span. Palmeiras continue the marathon playing Ceará away on Sunday the 24th, then Vasco on the 26th. And on the 30th, we have the Libertadores final against Santos. Due to tonight’s defeat, our bet is on coach Ferreira sparing key players against Ceará.
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.