Facing the toughest challenge of the tournament already in the first round, Palmeiras return from Rio de Janeiro left supporters with mixed feelings. The team didn’t ease Flamengo’s way to the three points, but at the same time there is a feeling that the team is lacking something to be on the same level as our main rivals for the title.
Abel repeated the already classic formation with three defenders and Palmeiras was able to stop most attacks from Flamengo in the first half without having to rely on Weverton. The two best opportunities were also ours: Luiz Adriano failed to score from inside the box in the 17th minute and Rony forced Diego Alves to a beautiful save in the 36th minute.
With the scorecard still leveled, Flamengo returned better to the second half and Weverton started having trouble. In the 30th minute, Menino and Luan repeatedly tried but weren’t able to stop Bruno Henrique advancing on the flank and cross to Pedro, scoring the sole goal of the game. Palmeiras didn’t react and the first defeat in eleven years in an opening round of the Brasileirão was a fact.
Weverton; Luan, Gustavo Gómez and Alan Empereur; Gabriel Menino, Felipe Melo (Danilo), Patrick de Paula (Zé Rafael), Raphael Veiga (Scarpa) and Viña (Victor Luis); Rony and Luiz Adriano (Wesley).
Playing against the team with the biggest firepower in the Brazilian League, Palmeiras defensive line resisted very well in the first half. The goal only happened through the skills of Bruno Henrique, that had been annulled by Menino until the play of the goal.
If there was a game where the defeat was acceptable, it was the away game against the current champion of the tournament. Unfortunately, this game was already in the opening round for Palmeiras and we start the tournament three points behind our main competitor for the title.
Palmeiras are approaching games against stronger rivals in a very cautious way. Sometimes, it pays off, as we’ve already seen in the first leg of the semifinals against River and in the final against Santos. Sometimes, it doesn’t, as in the last final of the São Paulo state Championship and in this opening round against Flamengo. For this strategy to work out, Palmeiras can’t lose a opportunity to score like yesterday’s with Luiz Adriano.
Palmeiras turn the attention to the debut in the Brazil Cup, that will happen on June 3rd. Unlike last seasons, Palmeiras will debut in the round-of-32, one earlier than we’ve been used to in the last seasons. This means that Palmeiras is ten games away from a title, instead of eight. Our opponent in this round is CRB, from Alagoas, playing in the second division of the Brasileirão.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by 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.