Can São Paulo bother Flamengo? Only if you stop giving goals as a gift – 08/19/2022

The unprecedented title of the Copa do Brasil seems so close and so far for São Paulo. The club returns to a semi-final two years later. There are, therefore, “only” four games left for the conquest. But two of these games, the next ones, will be against Flamengo, who are running over everyone at this point in the season.

São Paulo has improved a lot with the return of several injured and shows that they have the ability to surprise in the knockout stage. But the chance will be none if the team continues to deliver goals and make mistakes that are not befitting of high-level football.

In the qualifiers against Ceará, in the Sudamericana, and América, in the Copa do Brasil, São Paulo had more teams, more tradition and played better in most of the two games against each other. Even so, he needed penalties to pass Ceará and had to dramatically hold América, with one less, not to go to penalties.

And this happened basically for the same reason that São Paulo is in 11th – and not among the top five – in the Brasileirão. It’s a team that fluctuates too much within a match and loses focus. That’s when mistakes happen. In Ceará, Wellington gave the second goal to the rival, while in BH Reinaldo and Miranda were “children” in bids that resulted in a penalty and a red card. We can go game by game and we will find many more individual failures than collective failures in the goals conceded by São Paulo.

The playoff is especially cruel, as every mistake is punished. And just imagine what it would be like to err in front of Pedro, Gabriel, Arrascaeta…

The natural thing is that Flamengo passes through São Paulo, they have better players, more experience, more solutions, more almost everything. To pass, São Paulo will need to play well, be lucky (as they had against Palmeiras) and, most importantly, stop making so many mistakes.

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