What is the weight of not being able to use the team’s top scorer and waiter? At Atlético-MG, Hulk’s absence took place in a game that turned out to be quite complicated, in which he had less than one time left to turn the score around. The referee failed to score a penalty, Diego Costa left at half-time. The scenery looked bleak, pressure from the crowd. But the victory, of turning point, strengthens the path towards the cup for the Rooster.
Against Santos, coach Cuca had to think boldly. While Flamengo easily beat Juventude (3×0 in the 1st half), a stumbling block by Atlético would have an impact. After all, Rubro-Negro could reduce the distance by eight points, with two games in hand for the vice-leader, in addition to the direct duel in Rio.
Raniel opened the scoring within seconds of the final stage. Atlético could even have gone ahead of the scoreboard in the first half. There was an unmarked penalty over Zaracho. Confused arbitrage, using the VAR as the main decision tool. Rooster was nervous about the whistle’s owner’s decisions. The fans (16 thousand athletics) even more. It was necessary to manage the mind and fix the occupation of spaces.
Atlético players celebrate goal against Santos — Photo: Pedro Souza/Atlético-MG
Without the main star of the company (Hulk), without the main striker (Savarino) and without the national team player (Arana), Atlético reinvented itself. Cuca drew Mariano to move Zaracho to the side. He populated the attack, triggered the talent of Nacho, who scored two goals and the pass to Nathan Silva’s comeback. He was also right to choose Caleb over Nathan and Hyoran. The young midfielder deserves more chances. Did not feel the weight of the match and suffered two penalties.
Only one club in the history of running points has reached more than 56 points in 25 games. Only Flamengo de Jorge Jesus, record holder for the title (90).
Atlético don’t even need all that to end the long fast. Makes a return close to impeccability. There are 17 points in seven rounds, better than the start, when they lost to Ceará and Santos. The 18 Invincibility Games is not for everyone. Rooster 2021 makes history, getting closer and closer to a happy ending.