The first half of the 2022 Brasileirão ended with Palmeiras leading the whole pack. 39 points were collected from 19 games in the tournament so far (W11 D6 L2), with a gap of four points to the runners-up Corinthians.
Verdão heads the table with honours. Abel Ferreira’s men had the most effective attack (31 goals scored) and the most effective defence (13 goals conceded). According to Opta, 350 shots were fired by Palmeiras, so far the only team to surpass the 300 mark in the tournament. On the defensive end, Weverton and Marcelo Lomba summed 11 clean sheets for the Big Green, three more than any other team.
The performance in 2022 also stands out when compared to Palmeiras’ previous seasons in the Brasileirão under this league format (since 2003). The 39 points won this season ties with 2019 as Palmeiras’ best campaign after 19 games. The goal difference defines the tie-break in favour of the current season (+18 vs +16).
The symbolic “Champions of the first half” title is worthless if the actual title doesn’t come at the end. However, in 14 of the 19 seasons of the Brasileirão played under the current league format, the team that finished the first half of the tournament at the top also bagged the title. Just as Palmeiras did in 2016. Contrary to 2018, when Palmeiras finished the first half in sixth position but nevertheless lifted the trophy after a close to perfect second half.
Abel has his best shot at winning the Brasileirão since he arrived in São Paulo. In 2020 and 2021, the team was unable to keep the pace up in the league, as the fighting for other titles took its toll. This year, a solid first half and a early elimination in the Copa do Brasil may be the necessary ingredients to bring a novel addition to Abel’s trophy cabinet and our eleventh Brasileirão title.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi