Palmeiras 0(2) – (3)0 Al Ahly – melancholic finish

Palmeiras’ participation in the 2020 Club World Cup was unimpressive. After suffering defeat to Tigres in the semifinal, Abel Ferreira opted for a slightly altered line-up against Al Ahly, but without much effect. Neither team was able to break the deadlock and in the penalty shootout to follow, Palmeiras’ performance was as uninspiring as the game itself. Rony, Luiz Adriano and Felipe Melo executed their penalties poorly to see Al Ahly finish third in the tournament.

Line-up
Weverton; Mayke, Luan, Gustavo Gómez and Viña; Felipe Melo, Patrick de Paula (Danilo) and Raphael Veiga (Scarpa); Rony, Willian (Gabriel Menino) and Luiz Adriano.

Weverton, Willian and Patrick de Paula received yellow cards.

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Green Light
Weverton was Palmeiras’ best player, by a mile. With important saves during regular time and another penalty save, the keeper is writing his name on the pages of Palmeiras’ history in bold letters.

Yellow Light
The insane schedule continues. This morning, Palmeiras arrive in São Paulo. In the upcoming three weeks, the Verdão will play eight (8) games, including the Brazil Cup finals. Needless to say, the physical and mental strain will be a major factor, just as it has been in the last few weeks. It’s simply not possible to expect peak performance by these men under the circumstances. It’s as simple as that. Should be easy to understand. But no.

Red Light
In the last couple of weeks, Brazilian press has excelled in dragging Palmeiras in the mud. Basically, the media’s take is that the whole world watched as the unworthy Libertadores Cup champions humiliated themselves, infuriating palmeirenses expecting and demanding more from the club. Further, that bagging the Brazil Cup will be decisive to determine if the 2020 season was good or not, and that supporters regardless if this are questioning if coach Ferreira has what it takes.

Just writing about it upsets the stomach. The brutal unfairness. Palmeiras this season won the state championship, won the Libertadores Cup, are finalists of the Brazil Cup, and would have been a Brazilian League title contender had the match schedule permitted it. Palmeiras have played EVERY POSSIBLE GAME this season, and done splendidly, when looking at the outcome. Not performing brilliant football, that’s true, but which Brazilian side has, in 2020? Under these circumstances, to question Palmeiras’ performance and question coach Abel Ferreira – who arrived at the club three and a half months ago – is sick. Receive our raised middle finger, you bastards.

Next Challenge
This Sunday, two days after returning to Brazil, Palmeiras receive Fortaleza at the Allianz Parque for the 36th round of the Brazilian League. And although the League title is still mathematically possible, Abel will most likely spare his regular starters, already eyeing the Brazil Cup finals against rested Grêmio late February and early March.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

– – – ooo – – –
by Kristian Bengtson & Augusto Anteghini Oazi

*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.

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