Palmeiras don’t stop competing, and the Rooster to waver – 04/08/2022

Palmeiras had already signaled in the first half at Mineirão what the rivals seem not to realize, or are unable to find a practical solution: even in a first half suffering from low rotation and poor collective performance, Abel Ferreira’s team is capable of being lethal in a single lunge.

Atlético Mineiro was lucky that Gustavo Scarpa was offside at the origin of the attack that ended in a well-disallowed goal by Piquerez. Palmeiras would finish just one more time in 45 minutes. Against 14 from Galo, including two great chances missed by Keno and a submission by Ademir on the beam.

Only two on target. Hulk’s most successful shot in Marcos Rocha’s silly penalty over Jair. The Palmeiras side was the weak link, the map of the mine of a defensive system that lost fit when Hulk retreated, Ademir and Keno infiltrated diagonally and Zaracho or Jair entered the opposing area. Volume moments from the times of the Brazilian champion and the Copa do Brasil.

But with problems on the left side of the defense, lacking Guilherme Arana and Allan. Rubens and Otávio tried to compensate with attention against Dudu and Veiga. But when Scarpa, the “One Man Army” of Palmeiras, appeared there, the goal was annulled.

It was the password for Abel to reverse Scarpa and Dudu in the second half that started with maximum intensity from Galo and an own goal from Murilo in a new move by Keno on top of Marcos Rocha. Zaracho still had the chance for the third, but the submission was not accurate.

At the edge of the field, Abel showed tranquility, reducing even the complaints against the arbitration. Always pointing to the head, asking for calm and focus on the game. There was nothing lost in Mineirão, much less in the confrontation.

And Murilo’s goal came, on the rebound from a beautiful free-kick on Scarpa’s crossbar, always him. Rooster, shaken by the bad campaign in the Brazilian and traumatized by the elimination to Flamengo in the Copa do Brasil, with a similar script of absolute dominance and the hesitation in the goal conceded that cost dear, began to wither. The crowd, scalded, felt and silenced.

The exchange of Veiga, in the sacrifice with back pain, for Gabriel Menino, reinvigorated the midfield, pulled Danilo and Zé Rafael to the athletic field and Scarpa took over once and for all. Cuca took a long time to move and only thanked Junior Alonso for the injury, replaced by Igor Rabello. He believed that, even with the clear fatigue from the pressure of the first half, it would be possible to at least maintain the advantage.

And it really looked like Palmeiras would lose their 20-game unbeaten run in the Libertadores as a visitor and 17 consecutive matches, especially when Dudu received from Scarpa and lost a free-kick against Everson.

But the two-time South American champion is not an ordinary team, especially in the mental aspect. And Abel does not hide the main virtue of his men: “The secret today was to be positive even in adversity, and I think the team has taken great steps to deal with the adversities of the game”, he said at the post-game press conference.

No team on this continent understands so well that the game and the 180-minute showdown between big teams has different phases. Multiple games within one or two. The team that doesn’t fall apart, doesn’t stop competing, doesn’t shut down in the most complicated moments will survive.

Palmeiras knows how to survive. Maybe Abel even likes these moments for his team to show resilience and gain “shell”.

It certainly gained another layer by tying in the last attack. Again Scarpa, in the corner on the right. Dudu deflection on the second post, Danilo completed for the nets. The second completion on target of eight in the final step. A tie that seemed unlikely and left the impression of victory.

Mainly because of the reaction of the Atlético fans and the expressions of Cuca and Hulk on the way out of the field. From an Atletico that saw confidence evaporate with Mohamed and takes to Allianz only hope.

Also the recent record without defeats for the opponent, despite the elimination in the semi-final last year for the “qualified” goal, which no longer exists. New tie and the decision will be on penalties, Achilles heel alviverde in recent times.

But the trip showed that Palmeiras never stop competing. And the Rooster to waver, even with the return of Cuca. The dispute is open, but with an outstanding favorite, in search of the third championship. Although Abel Ferreira prefers the role of David against Goliath. Or the suffering that precedes the catharsis of triumph.

(Stats: SofaScore)

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