After having two weeks totally dedicated for training and resting, Palmeiras returned to a match. Contrary to expectations, what we saw wasn’t evolution. Moreover, Palmeiras faced a Flamengo without their main players and yet performance worse than our opponent.
The game started in a fast-pace, with Flamengo having more possession, but soon Palmeiras scored the first goal. Wesley received wide from Dudu and with a beautiful individual play, fired in the bottom left corner of Diego Alves to open the scorecard. A much welcomed advantage, that lasted exactly 143 seconds. Subtracting the time needed to restart the game, Flamengo equalized with Michael 20 seconds after the referee had blown the whistle to restart the game. An ice bucket to say the least.
After the injury of De Arrascaeta, Palmeiras dominated possession, however, few opportunities were created and the first half ended 1-1. Back to the second half, with Scarpa replacing Raphael Veiga, Palmeiras had the same difficulties. To make things worse, on a corner, Pedro put Flamengo ahead on the scorecard in the 57th minute.
Having already swapped Veiga for Scarpa in halftime, Abel made a triple substitution after suffering the second goal, and shortly after promoted William to put the team in all-attack mode. The changes didn’t pay off, and Palmeiras saw Michael dancing in front of Marcos Rocha before putting the final nail on the green coffin to make it 3-1.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Luan, Gustavo Gómez and Piquerez (Willian); Danilo (Patrick de Paula), Zé Rafael and Raphael Veiga (Gustavo Scarpa); Dudu, Wesley (Breno Lopes) and Rony (Luiz Adriano).
Zé Rafael received a red card.
Terrible performance. Nothing to be praised. Except for perhaps Wesley.
Conceding a goal immediately after opening the scorecard is a juvenile mistake. Marcos Rocha forgot that Michael existed, allowing his first headed goal ever in the tournament. In the second half, Gómez and Luan allowed Pedro to go airborn in between them to head the ball home. And Marcos Rocha allowed Michael the brace. Sad.
One victory in the last six games in the Brasileirão. Out of the six, four defeats, two of these against title contenders. Doesn’t look too good right now. Flamengo and Atlético Mineiro are likely to go on fighting for the Brasileirão, while we remain as spectators, focusing on the Libertadores title.
Due to the precocious elimination in the Brazil Cup, Palmeiras have another full week of training before the next match, against Chapecoense, for the Brasileirão. The rival has just ended the longest winless run of any team in the tournament under the current format (since 2003), with an away comeback against Red Bull Bragantino in their 20th game in the tournament. Palmeiras must be attentive, not allowing other precious points go down the drain.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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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.