By Felipe Leite
Abel Ferreira recently stated that Palmeiras is a work machine. It is difficult to doubt the veracity of this sentence when analyzing any Verdão game, of course — the phase is very, very good. But the match against Fortaleza, last Wednesday, showed: it is extremely difficult to deny alviverde competence.
The opponent? Difficult, very difficult. Fortaleza has had a consolidated work for years with Juan Pablo Vojvoda and, before the clash against Alviverde, had an impressive undefeated streak of 13 matches.
The context of the game? Important. It wasn’t just any Serie A match in the Brazilian Championship. It was the first leg match of the round of 16 of the Copa do Brasil, an extremely relevant national knockout competition — not only for its sporting baggage, but also for its financial aspect.
Even so, ‘against the ropes’, Abel Ferreira’s Palmeiras works. It bets on its own gear and doesn’t fear any type of rival. In this sequence of three consecutive games at Allianz Parque, it was like this against Grêmio and RB Bragantino, for example. The result was not at all favorable against Massa Bruta, but the offensive volume was.
And that’s what carries the current Verdão. Against Leão do Pici, 3 to 0 built with tranquility. The advantage for the return duel, in Castelão, on May 31? Huge.
But such an advantage only happened because Abel’s team has any kind of game in their hands. Print rhythm when you want, cadence the match when you want, decrease intensity when you want. It scored 2-0 against Fortaleza in just 17 minutes of play — Raphael Veiga and Bruno Tabata had already scored.
From then on, he controlled the actions. When Fortaleza arrived, Weverton didn’t take big scares. And when everything seemed to lead to a calm score, Richard Ríos — who entered in the second half — scored at the end of the confrontation, extending, and a lot, the alviverde advantage.
There is no doubt that Palmeiras is a work machine. The question that needs to remain in the air is: who — or what — for this Abel Ferreira team?
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