Palmeiras got their Copa Libertadores campaign off to a great start last night, by winning 3-0 in Colombia, although not all Palmeiras fans were happy with their team’s performance.
I managed to watch the highlights of this game and Palmeiras scored three really good goals. After receiving a kick in the face inside the first ten minutes (that’s right, one of the Colombian players thought it would be a great idea to kick an opponent in the face and get sent off inside the first ten minutes of his Libertadores campaign), Bruno Henrique dusted himself down and opened the scoring for Palmeiras ten minutes later. He also scored a very good goal in the second half, with Borja scoring Palmeiras’ second. That is worth a little watch on Youtube in my opinion.
But despite this very comfortable win, a quick scan of Twitter this morning revealed that some Palmeirenses were unhappy with their team, describing them as slow and lethargic. It didn’t look that way to me from the highlights, although admittedly a highlights clip doesn’t always tell the full story. The bigger picture though, is that any win away from home in the competition is good, even if you are playing against ten men for most of the match. It is not unusual that the pace of football in these matches is lethargic; it is really down to the home side to set the pace. Barranquila simply couldn’t do that last night. Finally, it often requires a moment of skill to define these matches, rather than playing at a consistent rhythm for 90 minutes. Palmeiras had three of those moments last night.
Perhaps those Palmeiras fans are still just angry at the way their team went down to their city rivals Corinthians last weekend. Not for the first time, they went into their city derby in good form, playing better football than their rivals and having a better team on paper. Despite that, they still ended up losing . Hurtful. Looking ahead though, Palmeiras probably have the strongest squad in Brazil and I would imagine that its only a matter of time before they start clicking on a more consistent basis.
Meanwhile, Santos slipped to a 2-0 defeat away to Real Garcilaso, a team from Cusco, Peru. Its not easy to play at an altitude of 3,400 if you are not used to those conditions (its harder to breathe and get oxygen to your muscles, etc), but that is clearly not the start that Santos were looking for. The altitude may have influenced the result, but I don’t fancy Santos’ chances in the competition this year. I saw the highlights and while Santos missed one or two chances to level the game, Real could have scored more themselves.
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