Twelve Steps to the Title

The Libertadores elimination to Athletico Paranaense created some concern among palmeirenses. Would the disappointment lead the team to a losing sequence in the Brasileirão?

The game against Juventude showed a team that certainly had internalized Abel’s rule about “24 hours to celebrate a win, or 24 hours to grieve a defeat”.

The 2-1 was an economic result against the worst team of the tournament, but the most important was achieved: victory. Combined with Flamengo’s draw against Goiás, the distance to the runners-up grew to eight points.

Should Inter – the current runners-up – win all of their 12 remaining games, Palmeiras would still secure the title with a sequence composed of nine victories, two draws and one defeat.

On paper, Palmeiras’ most difficult remaining games are against Atlético Mineiro (R28), Athletico Paranaense (R34) and Internacional (R38); all of these, away. If everything goes our way, the final round game against Inter is played with the title already secured.

As rounds pass by, no opponent shows strength to reduce the gap to Palmeiras. Corinthians, Fluminense, Flamengo and Internacional have been in the second position and all of them failed to seize the opportunities to get closer. Palmeiras didn’t win for three consecutive rounds and yet, the distance to the runners-up only got bigger.

The remaining 12 games should be played as if they were finals. A Brasileirão title would be the icing on the cake, the most important trophy to add to the two already bagged this season. Also, it would make Abel the only manager with a Grand Slam, having won the Libertadores, the Brazil Cup, The Brazilian League and the São Paulo State Championship with Palmeiras.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

– – – ooo – – –
by Augusto Anteghini Oazi

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