Palmeiras continue to build momentum as players keep returning to the squad and other title contenders keep wasting points. Without Abel on the sideline, João Martins was responsible for the line-up that started with Felipe Melo in defense and Deyverson back as the target man.
Again Palmeiras opened the scorecard relatively early: Scarpa took the corner and Gustavo Gómez headed it home. Three minutes later, and the lead was doubled, with Breno Lopes finishing in the bottom-right corner of the keeper after being assisted by Raphael Veiga.
Santos was partially knocked out, but Palmeiras didn’t seize the moment to score the third goal and make the second half a walk in the park. Santos reduced the lead with a silly penalty committed by Marcos Rocha and converted by Carlos Sánchez in the 69th minute. Palmeiras scored the third in the 83rd minute with Willian, but another penalty, highly questionable, put Santos back in the game on stoppage time.
In the end, Palmeiras survived Santos desperate tentatives in the dying minutes and solidified the pole-position, even allowing supporters to enjoy some minutes of Dudu on the field. The draw between Athletico Paranaense and Red Bull Bragantino puts Palmeiras at least two points in front of any other team and with five victories in a row, Abel’s men seem to be on track to something big.
Jailson; Marcos Rocha (Mayke), Felipe Melo, Gustavo Gómez and Viña; Danilo, Zé Rafael and Raphael Veiga (Wesley); Scarpa (Patrick de Paula), Breno Lopes (Willian) and Deyverson (Dudu).
Jailson received a yellow card.
Scarpa continues to deliver high-performance exhibitions and assisted another goal. Despite conceding two goals, Palmeiras defensive line worked well, denying Marinho scoring opportunities. In fact, Santos’ only shots on target were the penalties, which says a lot.
As in the game against Grêmio, Palmeiras missed opportunities to score the third when the scorecard was 2-0. Unlike last round, our opponent was able to reduce the lead and there were moments where the victory was at risk.
The refereeing was poor. Palmeiras’ third goal had to be validate by VAR because the line referee incorrectly ruled it offside offside. Santos’ second penalty has highly debatable.
The Brasileirão stops the insane rhythm of two games per week, but only because the Libertadores has returned. On Wednesday 14th, Palmeiras travel to Chile to face Universidad Católica in the first leg of the round-of-16.
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.