Twenty months after the Libertadores final, the transfer to Toronto and the return to Santos, Soteldo returned to fear Palmeiras. In the final of the Libertadores, in Maracanã, January 30, 2021, the fear was of the Venezuelan.
Orlando Ribeiro, interim coach from Santos, champion of Copinha driving Antony at São Paulo in 2019, was smart when he climbed Soteldo behind the steering wheels. Danilo’s expulsion happened due to a mistake by the steering wheel, forced by having to mark the midfielder.
Palmeiras is not overwhelming. Except for the beautiful goal by Merentiel, which guaranteed the victory by 1 to 0 and kept the distance of at least eight points for the 2nd place.
Natural for a team built to reach the physical apex earlier than the others, because of the Worlds. Against Santos, he attacked and pressed, but lackluster. More incisive was against Juventude, when he finished 24 times. He needed to respond quickly after being eliminated from Libertadores.
The Brazilian leader gets stronger when he scores in the attacking field. After the 25th of the 1st half, against Santos, he disarmed three times in front of the central circle and started to dominate the classic.
Throughout the year, the absence of a striker was discussed. Marcos Leonardo, from Santos, is more adapted to the role than Rony, although the Palmeirense already defines himself as a man in the area. For the first time, Endrick went to the bank.
He could be the standout player in next year’s squad. Correctly, Abel Ferreira prepares the prodigy carefully and without haste. Today, it’s not the lack of a striker that makes it difficult. Sometimes over-commitments.
Palmeiras is no longer the country’s team with the most games in the year. São Paulo is in the final of the South American Championship and has two more matches to go. But the plan was to grow at the right time and the two-time Libertadores champion was scheduled to go up physically beforehand.
For all this, the team depends on Scarpa. Not just on the attack. Notice how the positioning of the midfielders changes according to the rival side. If Felipe Jonatan is expected to take more danger than Madson, then Dudu plays on Mádson’s side and Scarpa marks Felipe Jonatan. This changes when the game gets tough. Then, Scarpa comes to the center or reverses the side with Dudu, to confuse the marking. Palmeiras already had a wider repertoire, when they were more rested and before Raphael Veiga’s injury.
Scarpa started from the right. In the 2nd half, the first dangerous move was with Dudu attacking Felipe Jonatan and Scarpa finishing on the opposite side. All Santos wanted was the counterattack and Soteldo’s dribbles.
In the 27th minute, after Danilo’s expulsion, Soteldo dribbled three players and crossed over the top. In the next minute, he received it from Ângelo and kicked it, grazing the post.
Then came the corner taken by Gabriel Menino, because Scarpa had already been substituted. The criticism of Abel Ferreira would be accurate if the team didn’t win, for taking the ace out of the team. And why put Merentiel? This is more obvious. Abel scales who trains well. That was the case of Breno Lopes and Deyverson, in the Libertadores finals. Merentiel’s goal could be one of the title goals.