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Palmeiras President Maurício Galiotte

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In light of Sunday’s debacle, Palmeiras yesterday night published an open letter to the club’s supporters. The letter reads [in an unofficial translation]:

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The Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras understands that the institution and its supporters suffered hard and irreparable damage by the disastrous, incompetent and irregular performance put out by the referees responsible for last Sunday’s game between Palmeiras and Corinthians.

In violation of the rulebook, there was clear and evident external interference in the arbitration, as indisputably proven by the images. As a response to this, in the name of integrity and transparency during games, Palmeiras understands it is non-negotiable that the following measures be adopted by the Paulista Football Federation:

1. Implementation of the Video Assistant Referee for all matches of the São Paulo Championship as of 2019;

2. Creation of a recording system, allowing for the disclosure, when necessary, of all communication between referees during the game;

3. Careful reassessment of the directors of the Referees Department of the Paulista Football Federation, as well as a more rigorous evaluation of those in charge of the matches.

Until there is an official signal coming from the Paulista Football Federation that these transparency measures will be adopted, Palmeiras’ relations with the Federation remain suspended.

On the pitch, Palmeiras consider last Sunday’s game a regrettable page now turned. There are other competitions ahead of us and we will make our outmost efforts to achieve them. The Palmeiras supporter is key in this process and his acknowledged involvement will be even more important.

Avanti Palestra!

Regards,

SOCIEDADE ESPORTIVA PALMEIRAS
Maurício Precivalle Galiotte
President

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Palmeiras are using strong language. If the club will be able to withstand the pressure and/or provoke change, only time will tell.

Brazilian football is facing a crisis, Sunday’s events nothing but the tip of the iceberg. Primary culprits have been named before. Extremely badly managed, non-transparent, biased, elitist, with poor refereeing (at best), and overall low levels of stadium attendance. The football federations, the confederation and Rede Globo are putting out a sad product, selling it as top notch to sponsors. Possibly these sponsors would be more concerned about the quality of the product they associate their brands with, should they face rejection among football lovers.

For your information, a list of brands sponsoring main championships and/or transmissions:

Rede Globo
Banco Itaú, Brahma, Chevrolet, Hypermarcas, Unilever, Vivo

Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF)
Cimed, English Live, Gol, Guaraná Antártica Nike, Itaú, Mastercard, Ultrafarma, Universidade Brasil, Vivo

Paulista Football Federation (FPF)
Bet 90, Canon, Gafisa, Itaipava, Kappa, Penalty, Sky

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Unfortunately, this match review is less about football and more about external interference that decided the final of Brazil’s most prestigious state championship.
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A giant mosaic covered the whole stadium (photo credits: Augusto Oazi)

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Backed by 41.227 supporters (new Allianz Parque attendance record), Palmeiras allowed Corinthians a start they wouldn’t even dream of: a goal to equalize the aggregated scorecard already in the first minute. Matheus Vital slipped through Marcos Rocha and Antônio Carlos to pass the ball behind to Rodriguinho; the shot would have been easily saved by Jailson had it not deflected off Victor Luiz.

After the early goal, the game evolved as expected, Palmeiras exercising superior ball possession but at large being blocked by Corinthians’ defensive line. The team in black and white basically parked the bus, waiting for that opportunity to counter-attack.

Palmeiras did not create that many opportunities during the game, but in the 26th minute of the second half, Dudu received a heavy challenge from Ralf inside the box and went down, well-positioned referee Marcelo Aparecido de Souza without hesitation awarding the penalty. Dudu took the ball and placed it on the 9-meter mark, but as the referee continued aggressively surrounded by Corinthians players, play did not resume. This went on for almost two minutes, de Souza fencing off Corinthians players and handing out a yellow card. Enough time for the fifth referee, who had been positioned at the other side of the pitch completely, jog over to the fourth referee, say something, and the fourth referee approach de Souza with what could only have been fresh info based on camera reviews: Ralf might have touched the ball before clipping Dudu, there might be room for interpretation, there might not have been a penalty. The referee looked ready to change his mind, now with all Palmeiras players ventilating their frustration. In vain, we learnt. The confusion lasted for a total of eight minutes, no penalty awarded, the external influence crucially changing the game’s outcome. Need I mention de Souza’s refereeing career was hanging on a thread there?

In the remaining 20 or so minutes, Palmeiras tried their best, coming close with a free kick just wide from Marcos Rocha and a header from Thiago Santos. Also Corinthians had an opportunity with Sidcley, driving the ball not far from Jailson’s left post.

In the penalty shootout that followed, our players were clearly frustrated, and more nervous than Corinthians’. Cássio saved the shots from Dudu and Lucas Lima, our first and third kickers respectively. Victor Luiz, Marcos Rocha and Moisés scored for Palmeiras. Corinthians missed only one penalty, the fourth, Fagner sending the ball to the stands. Below, a first video with the highlights, and a second, with the eight minutes culminating in the external interference.
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After the game, Palmeiras president Maurício Galiotte did not spare his criticism. “Shameful” was the word, repeated over and over again. Galiotte informed no Palmeiras representative would be present at today’s closing ceremony of the championship at the Paulista Football Federation.

As palmeirenses and lovers of football, yours respectfully hope, with all sincerity, that president Galiotte and Palmeiras transform words into action, sparing no effort to protect the club and the sport against biased and harmful practices that stain Brazilian football at an accelerated pace. What happened yesterday is the mirroring of Brazil, where impunity reigns and the powerful do as they please. Overwhelming as the task may seem, we believe we speak for an absolute majority of Palmeiras supporters when we say we are ready, come what might. There needs to be change.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi and Kristian Bengtson

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Ahead of tomorrow’s Paulistão final, Palmeiras this morning opened up the Allianz Parque, inviting supporters to accompany the last training session before the derby. With some 31.500 spectators of all ages and social classes present, the stadium pulsated in an impressing display of passion and union. The event also rendered close to 40 tonnes of food products, collected for distribution to the needing.

What a jackpot, Palmeiras, on so many levels!

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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Marcos Ribolli_9328

Many this morning had the first opportunity of their lives to visit the Allianz Parque.

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Not since 1999 have Palmeiras and Corinthians decided a championship final. This one kicked off well: Roger Machado’s strategy worked perfectly, neutralizing Corinthians’ gameplay, seeing Palmeiras one step ahead of their rival to bag the 2018 São Paulo state Championship.

Coach Machado was able to field his starting eleven of choice, as Borja and Marcos Rocha were again available. And already in the 6th minute, the Colombian showed why he is the top scorer of the championship. Dudu took a short corner to Lucas Lima who immediately returned it, Dudu crossing it into the area. Dudu’s ball surprised Cássio, hitting the crossbar, before bouncing back to Willian, who found Borja well positioned to effortlessly push the ball into the back of the net. Palmeiras 1-0!

Corinthians, inflamed by their supporters, went for the equaliser. In the 9th minute, Emerson received the ball and got passed Thiago Martins, but his shot was saved by Jailson. Palmeiras responded with Dudu passing the ball to Willian behind the defenders, but Cássio sprinted out to save the home team.

Corinthians enjoyed superior ball possession, but created little. In the 20th minute, Jailson made an easy save as Clayson tried his luck. Two minutes later, a more dangerous opportunity: Sidcley crossed the ball but Maycon shot was off-target. The game was tense and no other clear opportunity was created during the first half. But just before the whistle, a common scene in any derby: confusion. Borja and Henrique fought over a ball on the deep end. The referee awarded the throw-in to Palmeiras, but Corinthians’ players kept complaining. Soon, all players were found in the centre of the argument and a few slaps and kicks were exchanged. The referee, not knowing what to do, in the end opted for showing one yellow card and one red card to each of the teams. Borja and Henrique received the yellow, and Felipe Melo and Clayson were sent earlier to the showers.

Roger chose to rearrange the midfield, starting the second half without Borja, promoting Moisés. Despite both teams playing with ten men, there was not much extra space to create opportunities. Roger had to burn his second substitution when Victor Luiz felt a muscular discomfort, sending in Diogo Barbosa to make his debut as a Palmeiras player.

Corinthians tried to pressure left-back Barbosa, naturally out of rhythm due to a rather lengthy recovery from injury, but to little success. In the 20th minute, Keno was ready to come on for Dudu, but an exhausted Bruno Henrique requested substitution and was attended: in his place, Roger sent Thiago Santos to close the spaces on the midfield.

Willian had a golden opportunity to score in the 31st minute, but could not conclude Dudu’s crossed ball. Also Corinthians insisted on crossing balls, but Thiago Martins and Antonio Carlos were in the best of shapes, denying the black and white forwards any opportunities.

In the 43rd minute, Corinthians supporters lightened up their flares and the referee had to stop the game, as the Brazilian regulation determines. When the game reinitiated, he added six more minutes to injury time. In the 50th minute, Thiago Santos stole the ball from Rodriguinho, near Corinthians’ goal, but failed to get the ball to Dudu, clear on his right side. The home team also had a chance in the last minute, but Jailson had no problem with Balbuena’s header and the referee finally blew the whistle to end the game.
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As in the semifinals, Palmeiras play the second leg at home, at the Allianz Parque, and with the advantage of a draw. 24.000 tickets have already been sold to the return game this upcoming Sunday. However, the entire attention of Roger Machado and his players are now turned toward Tuesday’s Libertadores Cup game against Alianza Lima. It will be a tough week for palmeirenses around the globe.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi

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Seems like Palmeiras have a deal with their supporters: when things look easy on paper, we are going to make things difficult so that you can suffer a bit and have your hearts tested. In a rainy game at a Pacaembu Stadium, packed with 34.739 palmeirenses, Santos managed to reverse Palmeiras advantage, only to be defeated in the penalty shootout.

Roger Machado was unable to repeat the lineup of the first leg of the semifinals due to Marcos Rocha not recovering in time. Tchê Tchê was selected as his replacement. Game underway, Palmeiras exercised control for the first 10 minutes, but no clear opportunity to score materialised.
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Palmeirenses were not disheartened by the rain (photo credits: Augusto Oazi)

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Santos, playing with four forwards, were seeking space behind Palmeiras defensive line through long balls. In the 13th minute, payoff: Daniel Guedes advanced behind Victor Luiz and crossed the ball to Sasha, clean to head it into Jailson’s goal.

Santos’ lead did not last much: three minutes later, Bruno Henrique levelled the score for Palmeiras through a powerful shot fired low from outside the box, finding Vanderlei’s left corner.

After the two goals, the game cooled down, with Palmeiras trying to create opportunities passing the ball around and Santos counter-attacking through fast transitions. With Palmeiras once again in control of the game, the surprise: in the 39th minute, Rodrygo received the ball and tried to dribble Antonio Carlos. After some pinball action in the box, the ball finally deflected off Sasha to again present itself to Rodrygo, who just pushed it into the back of the net. Santos 2-1.

Palmeiras had two opportunities on free kicks to level the score before the end of the first half, but both shots, from Bruno Henrique and Victor Luiz, were saved by Vanderlei. In the last minute, Antonio Carlos almost converted after a corner kick, but that was it.

Back after the interval, the teams unaltered. Palmeiras had a good opportunity in the 2nd minute, Tchê Tchê crossed the ball, but Willian headed it wide. Our player did not seem to be in the best of shapes and could not find the way to actually threaten Vanderlei, Santos positioned deep in defence, awaiting another fluky opportunity to score the third. Coach Machado tried to fix the problem sending Guerra to replace Lucas Lima, but to no effect.

Santos had a good opportunity in the 28th minute after a corner kick, but Tchê Tchê put away the ball that would find Gabriel clear to score. Palmeiras, now with Moisés and Deyverson on the pitch, having replaced Bruno Henrique and Willian respectively, were still not finding ways to trespass Santos defensive line. The best opportunity was Keno’s, a left-footed shot off target.

In the 42nd minute, Keno was to receive the ball clear inside the box to score, but Dodo put it away at the last moment. Santos had their golden opportunity on injury time when Jean Mota took a first-time shot that would have been a beautiful goal had it not gone slightly above target.

With 2-1 on the scorecard at full time, a penalty shootout. With technique and nerves under control, Palmeiras masterfully converted all five through Dudu, Tchê Tchê, Victor Luiz, Moisés and Guerra. Our Black Panther between the posts, Jailson, saved Santos’ third penalty to classify Palmeiras to the São Paulo state Championship finals.
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Palmeiras now await for the opponent to be defined. If Corinthians go through, we will have a final not seen since 1999. If São Paulo come out victorious, even longer the interval: 1992. In any case, not since 2003 has a final been played between two teams from the city of São Paulo. Come what may, Palmeiras are ready to face and win this final; it has been nine years since the last title, in 2008.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi

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Ahead of the first leg of the Paulista semifinals, two undefeated streaks at the Pacaembu stadium: Palmeiras in their last 8 games and Santos since 2013 (25 games undefeated as home team). To the joy of the palmeirenses, only the green and white streak remains, now increased to 9 games in a row without losing at the historic stadium.

Palmeiras’ starting eleven was the same as against Novorizontino, but for goalkeeper Fernando Prass, replaced by Jailson, back from suspension. In spite of the stadium being filled with only Santos supporters, our players were not intimidated and started the game better.

In the 11th minute, Palmeiras pressure had already proven effective, the opening of the scorecard the result of a nice, collective move: Keno on the left passing the ball to Bruno Henrique in center position, opening wide to Dudu on the right wing, who returned the ball towards the centre where Willian closed in, pusingh it to the back of the net.

Palmeiras remained with the upper hand, creating two more opportunities: in the 19th minute, Dudu shot wide and in the 23th minute, Vanderlei made a difficult save following Willian’s shot. Jailson, meanwhile, was only a spectator of the game, Santos unable to find the way to threaten Palmeiras’ goalkeeper.

However, in the last minutes on the first half, Jailson had to shine brightly, twice. In the first one, Thiago Martins lost the ball to Gabriel, but Jailson blocked the point-blank shot, resulting in a corner. Renato headed the corner and Jailson performed another miracle, denying the equalizer.
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In the second half, Palmeiras again got off to a better start. In the 2nd minute, Victor Luiz fired away from the left, but Vanderlei was on his toes. A minute later, Keno missed the target after dribbling Santos’ left back. In the 5th minute, not so good news for the green and white: right-back Marcos Rocha gave way Tchê Tchê due to muscular fatigue.

Santos improved their game and created a number of opportunities, the first in the 6th minute, Jailson intercepting the crossed ball and Gabriel missing the target on the rebound. In the 19th minute, mess inside Palmeiras’ box, but Santos did not take advantage of the situation.

In the 21st minute, another beautiful save from Jailson after Rodrygo fired away from afar. Feeling Santos’ momentum, Roger Machado replaced both defensive midfielders to retake control of the match: Moisés and Thiago Santos came on for Bruno Henrique and Felipe Melo.

However, Santos did not stop pushing for the equalizer. In the 30th minute, Gabriel fired from outside the box, Jailson once more saving Palmeiras. Seven minutes later, Santos blew their last clear opportunity to score: Gabriel crossed the ball and found Vitor Bueno completely clean by the penalty spot, but Jailson saved the header.

The game ended 1-0 and the Verdão computed their 5th straight clean sheet; a record not achieved in the last 10 years. Upcoming Tuesday, should Palmeiras increase this sequence, they will be classified to the final, as a draw favours the green side. Roger Machado awaits the recovery of Marcos Rocha and Victor Luiz, who also left the game in discomfort, to repeat the same line-up on Tuesday, at the same Pacaembu stadium, only this time, with nothing but palmeirenses in the stands.

On the other side of the tables, São Paulo 1-0 Corinthians, the second leg scheduled for Wednesday night. 

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi

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What a superb football night we had! Putting to shame the expectations for a monotonous game, since Palmeiras was almost classified after the 3-0 in the first leg, the white and green players ran after every ball as if the match was the most important of their lives. The 25.446 palmeirenses present at Allianz Parque were amazed by the Verdão’s performance.

Roger Machado was left without Jailson (suspended by the sports tribunal for three games, an additional effect of the red card he received against Corinthians and subsequent hot-headed albeit true statements made to the press) and Borja (serving the Colombian national team). He picked Prass and Keno for the starting eleven, with Willian positioned as centre-forward.
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Stadium atmosphere as the match began (photo credits: Augusto Oazi)

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The game started with Palmeiras suffocating Novorizontino and in the 6th minute the score had already been opened. Willian received from Lucas Lima and sought Bruno Henrique; the ball was blocked, but returned to Willian, who with the second attempt found Bruno Henrique free to score.

The second goal came 10 minutes later. A one-two between Keno and Lucas Lima left the winger in position to execute a lovely chip shot, the keeper completely beaten.

The rhythm was insane, and in the 25th minute Dudu crossed the ball to Lucas Lima, but the midfielder’s shot was saved by the keeper. In the 34th minute Lucas Lima, always Lima, found Marcos Rocha behind the defenders with a long ball. The right-back crossed it to Willian, who firmly concluded to increase Palmeiras’ lead. In the last minute of the first half, Dudu still had time to score the fourth, after a give-and-go with Keno inside Novorizontino’s box.

After the perfect first half, Roger Machado promoted the season debut of centreback Edu Dracena, giving Thiago Martins a rest. Tchê Tchê also came on, replacing Marcos Rocha.

As the match re-initiated, Palmeiras were again in control, but less impetuous. This slower rhythm did however not stop opportunities from being created. Bruno Henrique missed the target in the 7th minute and Felipe Melo’s header was saved by Oliveira with 14 minutes on the clock.

In the 16th minute, Jonatan Lima received his second yellow card and went home earlier. In the 22nd minute, the referee did not award a penalty when Keno was pushed by the defender while trying to reach a crossed ball. 6 minutes later, another penalty suffered by Keno, this time the referee pointing to the 9-meter mark. Felipe Melo requested the ball and Dudu, the official penalty converter, granted it to him. Unfortunately, the outcome was not the best: Felipe sent the ball well above target.

The missed penalty was soon forgotten. In the 34th minute, Lucas Lima crossed the ball to Papagaio. The kid had come on for Willian and did not miss the opportunity to score his first goal playing as a professional for Palmeiras, a beautiful header giving final numbers to the match, making it Palmeiras’ biggest goleada at the Allianz Parque to date. Make sure to check out the highlights!
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Palmeiras’ opponent had finished the group stage of the São Paulo state Championship as the third best team overall in the tournament. Nobody expected Palmeiras going through with such ease. With an aggregated score of 8-0, Palmeiras massacred Novorizontino and are ready for the semifinals. Later tonight we will come to know our next opponent, most likely Santos, unless Bragantino classifies through a penalty shootout.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi

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