Blessed with the returns of Viña and Gustavo Gómez in defence, Abel Ferreira also made changes to the attack, opting for a line-up without a legit centre forward; it had been tested before, this formation with Rony being the target man, but free to roam through spaces.
Whatever was the strategy, it worked instantaneously: Raphael Veiga opened the scorecard after 16 SECONDS, Palmeiras’ fastest goal in Brasileirão history and also in the history of the Allianz Parque. And the Big Green didn’t take long to increase the lead: Wesley started the play, lobbing Douglas Costa and passing the ball to Viña, who precisely crossed to Gabriel Menino’s header in the 17th minute.
Palmeiras created plenty of opportunities to score a third and fourth goal to seal the victory already before halftime, but didn’t conclude well. The same scenario was repeated in the second half, albeit with Grêmio putting on slightly more of a fight (Jailson was a wall, when needed).
In the end, Palmeiras kept another clean sheet and the two goal advantage remained untouched. Palmeiras, now at 22 points, surpassed Red Bull Bragantino who only mustered a draw at home against Cuiabá. Athletico Paranaense have 19 points but one game less played.
Jailson; Gabriel Menino (Mayke), Luan, Gustavo Gómez and Viña; Danilo, Zé Rafael (Felipe Melo) and Raphael Veiga; Scarpa (Patrick de Paula), Wesley (Breno Lopes) and Rony (Deyverson).
Gabriel Menino and Danilo received yellow cards.
The returns of Gustavo Gómez and Viña already showed why Palmeiras needed them so much. The defense was much more solid and Viña contributed with an assist. Danilo, Scarpa and Raphael Veiga continued their prominence and we still have Dudu to be added to this team.
Palmeiras again blew opportunities that could have secured an early victory. Counter-attacks missed, shots going wide and passes failing in front of the opponent’s area must be reduced.
Rony and Breno Lopes have lots of credit with supporters due to their services at the Libertadores last year, but tonight they were responsible for the dismantle of many attacking opportunities. Bad decisions and easy passes going straight to an opponent were seen a plenty.
We’re in the last week of “two league games a week” modus due to the Libertadores kicking back into gear next week to claim the mid-week slot. Before the international tournament, Palmeiras have a regional classic in the Brasileirão: on Saturday 10th, the Verdão receive Santos at the Allianz Parque, looking to remain in pole position. Our opponent just defeated Athletico Paranaense, but still don’t seem to be in their best shape. The game could possibly also give us another treat: Dudu returning in green and white.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
– – – ooo – – –
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.