Athletico was better in the 180 minutes of the semifinal of the Copa do Brasil and deserved to have won both games. Despite Flamengo’s 25 submissions at Maracanã. 15 from inside the area, 11 towards the goal of the fantastic goalkeeper Santos and two crystal clear chances isolated by Andreas Pereira and Gabigol.
Alberto Valentim’s team had tactical variations to defend – sometimes with four, sometimes with five men in the back row – and the clear plan of attacking Filipe Luís’ back with Nikão, who scored two goals. The second in grotesque failure by Diego Alves. In stoppage time, to “toast” 52 minutes thrown in the trash with Diego Ribas on the field. It’s not the fault of the shirt number ten, but of whoever cast him after his bad performance in Fla-Flu along with Andreas, in midfield.
There was no lack of fights for the Rio team, but it was clear that when individualities don’t solve it, there are no solutions from Renato Gaúcho. And the defensive transition lost a lot with slots that fall apart with any dribble or unmark.
The attack lived off the surrender of Bruno Henrique, the clever play of Everton Ribeiro triggering Isla in depth and, later, the flashes of skill of Michael, who could have scored a great goal with an incredible sequence of dribbles. But the ball did not enter. She doesn’t stop entering by chance.
Flamengo is adrift. From President Landim campaigning for re-election, to the football department that makes mistakes in decisions and communication, or lack of it. The “Caso Pedro” is just the tip of the iceberg of a series of misconceptions that open up the option of surrounding oneself with friends, instead of seeking excellence in all sectors.
The screams of “Mister, Mister” are also not by chance. The Jorge Jesus administration was the moment when financial power was translated, in fact, into superiority in the countryside. Because there was command. Everything Flamengo needs to be able to fight for the Libertadores title. The culmination of the season in South America, but which gained an air of “what’s left” for a club that lost its way.
Because the game against Atlético Mineiro on Saturday and the others for the Brazilian Nationals will only serve to manage the place in the G-6 and the squad physically to arrive in Montevideo in one piece. With or without Renato Gaúcho, the reference must be the team that played only for a few minutes in Guayaquil, against Barcelona.
Diego Alves; Isla, Rodrigo Caio, David Luiz and Filipe Luís; Willian Arão and Andreas Pereira; Everton Ribeiro, De Arrascaeta and Bruno Henrique; Gabigol.
The best Flamengo can put on the field, to try to win in their fiber and talent in a single game. That’s what’s left for 2021 to be historic, albeit with only one relevant achievement. The biggest one, which, a month before the final act in Uruguay, never seemed so far away.