Internacional 1-2 Palmeiras – again late, but not too late!

As habitual, Abel made changes to the starting eleven ahead of the game against Internacional. Renan was picked for left-back, Zé Rafael given another chance as a starter and Deyverson returned as target man in attack. Rony was not even on the bench, probably spared due to muscular fatigue. Scarpa however did his seventh straight game as a starter and has become Abel’s MVP.

The new formation worked well and Palmeiras repeated a script we’ve become used to, opening the scorecard early (before the fifteenth minute, Palmeiras’ fifth goal in this interval so far in the Brasileirão). After a corner, Raphael Veiga fired away from outside the box and Deyverson expertly deflected it to die in the back of the net. Eventually, Palmeiras assumed a more defensive position after the opener, containing Inter’s attacks and even scored a second goal with Breno Lopes, correctly ruled offside.

Abel had to sub off Breno Lopes due to injury and Victor Luis came on, making Palmeiras even more defensive. Internacional built momentum, drawing increasingly closer to Jailson’s goal before Palmeiras got the chance to kill the game with Raphael Veiga in the 60th minute. Veiga however missed the face-to-face opportunity and in the counter-attack, Kuscevic committed a stupid penalty, that also rendered him the red card. Edenilson converted the shot and Inter were to enjoy a numerical advantage for the last 30 minutes, their comeback suddenly looking very plausible, almost inevitable.

In the 69th minute, Abel made a triple sub with Felipe Melo, Danilo Barbosa and Gabriel Menino coming on to replace Gustavo Scarpa, Zé Rafael and Marcos Rocha, respectively. One would imagine Palmeiras parking the bus to guarantee at least one point away, but Inter’s defensive flaws allowed Palmeiras to get some scoring opportunities, always missing the last pass.

In the 85th minute, almost curtains as Yuri Alberto had a clear scoring opportunity but Jailson was correctly positioned to save us. Five minutes later, one of the ugliest, most unbelievable, deliciously freaky goals Palmeiras have ever scored: Deyverson opened to Danilo Barbosa on the right, who advanced and crossed low to his namesake Danilo free inside the box. From the camera angle, Danilo’s “shot” looked like it was heading way into the stands, baseball style, but the ball made the weirdest loop and ended in the back of the net. Palmeiras returned to São Paulo with three points in the bag!

Line-up
Jailson; Marcos Rocha (Gabriel Menino), Luan, Kuscevic and Renan; Danilo, Zé Rafael (Danilo Barbosa) and Raphael Veiga (Patrick de Paula); Scarpa (Felipe Melo), Breno Lopes (Victor Luis) and Deyverson.

Jailson, Patrick de Paula and Abel Ferreira received yellow cards. Kuscevic received a direct red card.

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Green Light
Deyverson put out another good performance and didn’t activated his “crazy mode”. Supporters are correct in remaining suspicious, but Deyverson has actually been rather useful and some time on the bench should do Luiz Adriano good. Yesterday, besides scoring the first goal, Deyverson also initiated the play that resulted in Palmeiras’ only fifth victory out of 41 games played against Inter at the Beira-Rio Stadium.

Yellow Light
It’s always VERY satisfying to enjoy a late win as yesterday’s, but it was the third time in a row that Palmeiras had to rely on a goal in the dying minutes to get the three points (also against América Mineiro and Bahia at home). Lady Luck won’t be on our side always. Now, giving it a more positive spin: under Abel Ferreira, Palmeiras never give up looking for the winner.

Red Light
The defensive performance was much better than in previous games and Inter didn’t threat Jailson too much. Still, once more we were unable to keep a clean sheet. The only game Palmeiras didn’t concede in the Brasileirão was in the 3-0 away victory against Juventude. A clean sheet makes winning games so much easier.

Next Challenge
Mileage a plenty as Palmeiras travel from south to north to face Sport, on Sunday 4th. Sport come from two consecutive 0-0 draws, but their only win in the tournament was against Grêmio, who are firmly parked in the bottom of the tables without a single victory after six games. It won’t be easy, but the game against Sport is exactly the kind of game you need to win to fight for the title.

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.

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