After another full week of training and rest, Palmeiras put out another worrying exhibition in the Brasileirão. Abel Ferreira opted for not sparing any of the regular starters and fielded the best team available against Fortaleza.
Palmeiras again counted on a bit of luck to open the scorecard, graced by another own goal in our favor in the 12th minute. The early opener could indicate a path to victory, but Fortaleza soon scored twice, in the 18th and in the 25th minute, to take the lead. Palmeiras were not looking too sharp, but in the 34th minute impressed: Luan with a beautiful, long, vertical pass to Scarpa, who advanced and crossed for Willian to score the equalizer into a practically empty goal.
The second half featured the teams in a slower pace. In the 70th minute, Palmeiras saw Fortaleza one man down, with Felipe being sent off after his second yellow card. Abel seized the numerical advantage to put the team on the attack, with Deyverson and Luiz Adriano coming on, but at the expense of midfield creativity. The latter had the winning goal at his feet, but missed a clear opportunity. The punishment came soon, with Victor Luis being sent off and Fortaleza scoring in the last minute to break Palmeiras unbeaten sequence at home.
Weverton; Mayke, Luan, Gustavo Gómez and Renan (Victor Luis); Patrick de Paula, Zé Rafael and Raphael Veiga (Luiz Adriano); Gustavo Scarpa (Gabriel Veron), Wesley (Dudu) and Willian (Deyverson)
Renan, Zé Rafael and Gustavo Gómez received yellow cards. Victor Luis received two yellow cards and was sent off in the 90th minute.
The team scored two goals on a bad night. A little bit more attention at the defensive end, and we could have enjoyed another victory.
The elimination in the Brazil Cup had one good side: having two weeks without games in the middle of the week. Unfortunately, we were not presented good exhibitions after those two weeks and now the team has to face São Paulo in the Libertadores with the pressure of having lost at home and probably losing the lead in the league.
The option for Victor Luis in the second half was unexplainable. The left-back has already shown numerous times that he is a weak link and tonight he received a red card, obligating Mayke to play in the left side for a few minutes and allowing Fortaleza the spark of hope they needed to defeat Palmeiras. Coach Abel’s performance is however equally questionable: substituting both Scarpa and Veiga stripped away most of our creativity tonight, with few workable balls arriving at our forwards.
The biggest challenge of the season has arrived: the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Libertadores against São Paulo. Palmeiras have played four times against São Paulo in the current season and have failed to score in every single one of them. After two weak exhibitions in the Brasileirão, Palmeiras come to the game with more questions than answers.
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.