With the return leg of the Libertadores happening next week, Abel opted for a modified team to play against the current leaders of the tournament. Atlético Mineiro, also deciding their fate on the international tournament next week, came with all their main players.
Playing at home, Atlético Mineiro had more possession and the action was mostly on Palmeiras’ side of the pitch, but without threatening Weverton. Palmeiras slowly moved positions forward and the game was completely leveled when, in the 35th minute, the decisive moment: the referee showed an unjustified second yellow card to Patrick de Paula, leaving Palmeiras one man short.
Atlético Mineiro increased the pressure and Palmeiras resisted until the last second of the first half, when Savarino opened the scorecard. Palmeiras came with four substitutions to the second half, but were unable to change the script: Atlético Mineiro found their second goal again with Savarino, putting final numbers to the game.
Weverton (Jailson); Gabriel Menino, Felipe Melo, Gustavo Gómez and Piquerez; Danilo, Patrick de Paula and Gustavo Scarpa (Luan); Wesley (Danilo Barbosa), Gabriel Veron (Zé Rafael) and Willian (Rony).
Patrick de Paula received two yellow cards, being sent off in the first half. Abel Ferreira and assisting coach João Martins also received red cards.
Piquerez debuted, Gabriel Menino returned, some players recently returned from injury regained playing rhythm, but there weren’t many good things to point out.
Three games without win in the Brasileirão and Palmeiras is at risk of losing the runners-up position, besides increasing the distance to the leaders to five points. The defeat today was one of those we expect in the beginning of the tournament, but losing against Fortaleza at home put Palmeiras in an uncomfortable position.
The second yellow card showed to Patrick de Paula was absurd. The player tried to avoid the contact with the opponent, but slid in the wet grass. The referee then indicated the foul and didn’t show any sign he would send the player off. Suddenly, he showed the second yellow to Patrick, opening the path to Atlético’s victory.
The decisive moment of the season has arrived: the second leg of the quarterfinals of the Libertadores Cup against São Paulo. Securing the progress to the semifinals will make every supporter forget the last unimpressive exhibitions and again believe in winning two titles in the year.
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.