Lewandowski saves Barcelona in the Champions League

Wednesday was amazing from early afternoon. Champions League day always creates a certain expectation, mainly because the group stage has entered a decision period. That’s when players who are really decisive appear and manage to get their teams out of a dramatic situation in a few minutes. That’s what happened in Barcelona 3 x 3 Internazionale, at Camp Nou.

Barça is a team with a lot of problems and they took a serious risk of being eliminated already in this round. He started the game winning, but then he was dominated by the Milan team and was behind the score twice, conceding goals with defensive failures.

With eight minutes to go, everything was heading for the hole, with Inter winning 2-1. That’s when a spectacular striker appeared out of nowhere. Lewandowski scored the equalizing goal and gave his team a boost. However, soon after, Inter scored their third goal.

At that moment, Barcelona was delivered – minus one guy. Because that player with decisive goals, important against great teams, never gives up.

They crossed in the area and the great Lewa made a great header, showing presence in the area and great impetus. He scored the equalizer with the rage of a striker who never gives in because he knows he is decisive.

Xavi’s team continues to breathe in the championship, but it was clear that if it didn’t have a player like Lewandowski, it wouldn’t be able to have the important and necessary reaction power as it had.

Lewandowski’s old team, Bayern Munich, ran over again (beating Viktoria Plzen 4-2) and is already qualified for the round of 16.

Liverpool, who are in crisis in the Premier League, started out losing 1-0 in Glasgow to Rangers. Many thought like this: “Klopp’s team is no longer the same”.

Suddenly, the English team started to score non-stop goals and ran over the Scots by 7 to 1. Firmino, in great form, scored two. Salah, who will also not go to the Cup like Haaland, scored three goals. Perhaps this result could give Liverpool a boost to start a reaction in England.

Yet another team with players who really decide came into action. Tottenham lost until the duo Son and Kane changed the scenario of the match, which ended 3-2 for the English team against Eintrach Frankfurt.

I took these examples to show that teams with decisive players and who like to score goals in important games always manage to stay alive at the most important moments.

There are only two rounds to go and, at the beginning of November, everything is decided in the Champions League. And it looks like big teams will dance already in the group stage.

In the Copa do Brasil, a goalless draw. My bet: Flamengo takes the Maracanã

At night, here in Brazil, the first match of the final of the Copa do Brasil took place, between Corinthians and Flamengo, at Neo Química Arena. I expected more from this match, which ended 0-0, but was competitive.

Most of the time the game was the same, but it was very clear that the team from Gávea is technically superior and has the most qualified squad. The Parque São Jorge team did very well in the first half – especially in the marking, taking away the space that Flamengo likes to use.

The problem was Corinthians’ difficulty in creating attacking plays to be able to finish with danger, while Flamengo has this in their DNA – when they find a gap, the attackers move and manage to reach the opponent’s goal with danger.

In the second half everything changed. I saw Flamengo better, pushing Corinthians back many times and creating clear chances to score. Cássio saved the result in at least three plays, mainly with Gabriel face to face. There was also the ball from David Luiz, which exploded on the crossbar, leaving Cássio without reaction.

As Maurício Noriega said: Cássio is a goalkeeper in big games, in finals, in decisive games, and he demonstrated this condition again in this match.

Cássio in action in Corinthians x Flamengo, for the final of the Copa do Brasil - MARCELLO ZAMBRANA/AGIF/PHOTOGRAPHY AGENCY/ESTADÃO CONTEÚDO - MARCELLO ZAMBRANA/AGIF/PHOTOGRAPHY AGENCY/ESTADÃO CONTEÚDO

Cássio in action in Corinthians x Flamengo, for the final of the Copa do Brasil

Image: MARCELLO ZAMBRANA/AGIF/PHOTOGRAPHY AGENCY/ESTADÃO CONTEÚDO

The cast difference appears at the time of the changes. Flamengo manages to maintain the quality when players like Cebolinha and Vidal enter. Corinthians suffer mainly when Renato Augusto and Roger Guedes leave, for example.

The most controversial move of the match was the ball in Léo Pereira’s hand, but here in Brazil the criteria differ for each refereeing trio and who is in VAR. I’ve seen this play be a penalty several times, just as I’ve seen it not. It confuses players, fans, analysts… no one is sure of anything when the ball hits someone’s hand.

Everything was left to be decided for next Wednesday, and then there’s nowhere to run. Therefore, the trend is for the game to be much better. For the draw in São Paulo, for playing the second match at Maracanã and for the team they have, I see Flamengo as the favorite.

I’ll try not to make a mistake this time. My bet is: 60% chances for Flamengo and 40% for Corinthians.

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