Posts Tagged ‘bruno henrique’

Thank God Palmeiras have found the path back to victory! As happens every time, the defeated team from the derby had a difficult week: Jailson’s mother on a polemic television show, Dudu’s agent speaking bullsh*t, the ultras demanding results and the usual provocations from the press.

Palmeiras flew away from all this turmoil to play at the Roberto Meléndez in Barranquila, the biggest stadium in Colombia. While the green side were debuting in the 2018 Copa Libertadores, Junior had come through two preliminary eliminatory rounds to secure their spot in the group stage.

Roger Machado made some changes to the squad, promoting Bruno Henrique and Victor Luiz to the starting eleven. With the game underway, initial impression was that Junior were going to create chances until finding their first goal: Jailson brilliantly saved a face-to-face from Jonatan Alvez in the 6th minute and just one minute later, Palmeiras’ keeper had to work again, this time fencing off a shot from Chará. However, Junior’s pressure diminished considerably after their left-back Germán Gutierréz was sent off due to an assault on Bruno Henrique, studs in chest.

The numerical advantage, at such an early stage of the game, naturally cleared the way for Palmeiras. In the 18th minute, Dudu found Bruno Henrique clean inside the box to fire a beautiful shot and open the score. This was all that the Big Green managed in the first half. With many incomplete passes and bad decisions from Machado’s players, Junior almost equalized the score on two occasions before the whistle.

During the halftime break, Roger Machado probably instructed his men to calm down when in possession of the ball. Palmeiras came on with the same players for the second half, but with a different attitude, which produced an early goal for Palmeiras: Borja scored with 6 minutes on the clock, a great volley following a blocked shot from Lucas Lima.

With the two-goal advantage, Palmeiras played even more patiently. After a short corner in the 26th minute, Guerra, that earlier had come on for Lucas Lima, found man-of-the-match Bruno Henrique in the penalty box, who skilfully scored his second to close the scorecard 3-0.

We could have easily seen more balls scooped out of the net, though. Thiago Santos missed an open goal to make it 4-0. And in the 40th minute, the Colombians were denied a consolation goal when Jonatan Alvez sent a penalty kick up the stands. Minutes later, Jailson made another brilliant save when Alvez, always Alvez, again came face-to-face.

Despite the very positive score, 3-0 away, Palmeiras did not play particularly well, especially considering Junior were one man short for 80 minutes. Roger Machado certainly felt the same, intensively gesticulating and yelling to his players throughout the whole match.

The other match in Group 8, Alianza Lima vs Boca Juniors, was a goalless tie. Thus, Palmeiras will rest in top position at least until 4 April, when Alianza Lima come visiting at the Allianz Parque.

The Verdão now turn their attention back to the São Paulo state Championship, where they on Monday face São Caetano, at home, to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi


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After defeating Grêmio 1-0 last Saturday, Sunday was all about resting. Today Monday, only a light training session in the morning before heading off to Ecuador, where Barcelona de Guayaquil await on Wednesday. The Libertadores matchup for the group of 16 is illustrated below, with the second leg taking place in a month’s time.


Ten days ago, CONMEBOL announced they were changing the rules regarding how many players a team could swap in their Libertadores squad – funny enough only hours after River Plate saw seven of their players fail a doping test. At the wave of a wand, the limit went from two to six players. Palmeiras today swapped four: Bruno Henrique, Juninho, Luan and Mayke replaced Rafael Marques, Vitor Hugo, Vitão (only still at Palmeiras) and Alecsandro.

The additional two swaps Palmeiras can (and certainly will) do up to 48 hours ahead of the second leg. One spot is dedicated to Moisés, who is in the final stages of recovery from his knee surgery. The last spot will probably go to a forward in Mattos’ crosshairs. Could be Diego Souza, currently at Sport. Before the weekend, we will know.

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Palmeiras appealed and CONMEBAL revised the absurd rulings following the debacle in Montevideo: Felipe Melo’s ban has dropped from six to three games, and the three-game ban on Palmeiras supporters during away games has been reduced to one game (which will be the one against Barcelona on Wednesday).

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Alberto Valentim is back at Palmeiras as assisting coach, after a brief spell at Red Bull. He left Palmeiras in December of last year, after it became clear he was not taking over after Cuca’s exit. Everyone celebrated his return, although Valentim himself recognises he is taking a step back in order to advance two steps in the future.

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Someone on the verge of taking a major step is 19-year-old attacking midfielder Vitinho. Seems Barcelona are close to finalising a loan move with an option to buy. Cuca has publicly given his approval: “Good for the player and the club if he goes to Barcelona B. He’s training well but, unfortunately, he can’t get the necessary minutes with us. At the moment, he needs to play”, Palmeiras’ coach recently stated.

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English football magazine “World Soccer” annually lists their Top 500 in the World, and the 2017 edition sports six Palmeiras players, more than any other Brazilian club: Felipe Melo, Dudu, Borja, Guerra, Mina and Tchê Tchê.

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Saturday, the Allianz Parque hosted Ariana Grande. Already on Sunday, pictures showed the stadium in shape to receive a game, with the pitch apparently intact. For the first time, stadium management had used a technique to anchor the stage not on the ground but using the ceiling, resulting in considerably less strain on the pitch and much shorter disassembling time. Not a day too early.

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The Allianz Parque, as first stadium in Brazil, has received the “Guiaderodas” seal of approval. The seal is given to venues that has proven fully accessible to wheelchair users and people with other physical disabilities. Unlike the old Palestra, the Allianz Parque was designed with full accessibility in mind from the start: parking lots, stands, restrooms, snack bars… There are 15 elevators and 26 escalators, and staff have been given specific training to meet the needs of disabled visitors.

As palmeirense wheelchair user Renan Barreiros commented: excellent news; will be even better once Palmeiras implement mechanisms that assure only disabled persons are able to reserve the specially designated seats at the stadium, as well as secure the same discounts that non-disabled, enrolled in Palmeiras’ supporter membership programme, enjoy for certain sectors. Seems Palmeiras are working on solutions; this is something worth keeping an eye on.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Last week’s signing of Bruno Henrique was met with scepticism. “Palmeiras need no more defensive midfielders”, they said. “Squad already too numerous”, they said.

After losing to Coritiba on 7 June, Palmeiras have played four games and lost three defensive midfielders due to injury: Palmeiras 3-1 Fluminense (Felipe Melo, thigh and hand, 4-6 weeks); Santos 1-0 Palmeiras (wounded pride, as Santos’ goal was an assault and Palmeiras was denied a clear penalty in the dying minutes); Bahia 2-4 Palmeiras (Thiago Santos, thigh, 3-4 weeks) and yesterday’s Palmeiras 1-0 Atlético Goianense (Tchê Tchê, thigh, awaiting confirmation).

Both against Bahia and Atlético, centre-back Luan came on in the second half to populate the midfield. Out of necessity, rest assured Bruno Henrique will make his debut sooner than expected.

Dudu spent three weeks with the medical department, coming back yesterday in the second half. Others Palmeiras players have been serving their national squads. Cuca’s task has not been easy. Nevertheless, the team’s performance has progressed in a consistent manner, as also reflected in the numbers: two thirds of Palmeiras’ points were collected in the last four rounds. Before playing Bahia, Palmeiras had not scored a single away goal, while the baianos had won their three home games.

The Verdão currently rests in seventh place at 13 points, 7 behind leader Corinthians, one game short.

With the international transfer window now open, football director Alexandre Mattos is certainly scanning the market. A forward with characteristics similar to Borja – who scored the winner yesterday – is a priority. The flanks are also a concern, in particular the left: Egídio has been inconsistent and Zé Roberto is increasingly suffering with keeping the pace up.

On a positive note, Guerra has evolved tremendously, and so has Roger Guedes: both are in splendid technical and physical form, being decisive in every game as of late.

On Sunday, Palmeiras travel to face Ponte Preta. Another away victory, and we could certainly say the tide has turned.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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