What is most impactful? Beat Grêmio 5-0, playing at Maracanã (Libertadores 2019 semifinal), or beat them 4-0, playing with one less, throughout the second half, at Arena Gremista (quarter-finals of the Brazil Cup 2021)?
A day after Jorge Jesus, amusingly muddy as usual, told reporter João Venturi, from SBT, that he doesn’t believe Renato Gaúcho can equal his achievements at Flamengo, as no one would win the Brazilian Nationals with 90 points again, the current coach performs a feat comparable to that of the Portuguese, in what was perhaps the greatest red-black performance under his command. At least the most emblematic.
On a night when unlikely heroes shone (Michael, Vitinho, Bruno Viana and Rodinei scored the goals), Portaluppi’s team, with one player less, was able to produce, in the second half, a tactically perfect performance that led to a heroic and spectacular victory.
Interestingly, Grêmio de Scolari was even better than Flamengo in the first half. And, when it was expected that the red-black carioca would return concerned only with defending himself, exactly the opposite happened. The entries of Thiago Maia, in place of Diego and Matheusinho, in place of Arrascaeta (a surprising substitution at first, as the natural thing would be to remove Michael) rebalanced the team that went on the attack, surprising the rival, as he had been surprised in the first stage .
After Bruno Viana’s goal, Grêmio still sent a ball to the crossbar, but Flamengo was fed up with creating dangerous attacks in counterattacks, always very well constructed, in foot and foot plays. In addition to the four goals, he created several opportunities to score. And the team from Rio Grande do Sul was completely lost. Unable to overcome the opponent’s well posted defense in the second half.
The victory that virtually classifies Renato Gaúcho’s team for the semifinals still left some lessons. To know:
Diego can no longer start. Thiago Maia is already far superior to him and there is still Andreas Pereira for the position. Shirt 10 should turn out to be a great backup. For Arrascaeta, not playing as a steering wheel.
Isla doesn’t deserve to remain at right-back either. What you did in this game was unforgivable. He lacked intelligence. How to hold an opponent, already having a yellow card, in a play where there was not so much danger of a goal? Matheusinho, now!
Returning to the initial question about the possibility of Renato Gaúcho overcoming what Jorge Jesus achieved in the magical year of 2019, it is mandatory to record what the current coach has built so far: 13 games, 11 wins, one draw and one defeat, with 87% of success, scoring 41 goals. Average of 3 goals per game. At least so far, not even Jesus has come to that.