Grêmio – Flamengo: Grêmio Fall As Flamengo Firms Up Title Hopes (0-1)
Grêmio were the better team on the day against a heavily rotated Flamengo side, but a first half penalty was all the visitors needed to steal the victory and take another significant step toward capturing the Série A title.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
Besides playing some exhilarating football from time to time, Flamengo continue to find ways to collect points this season. That ability to wrestle a result from a match was on full display in their mid-week fixture against rivals, Vasco da Gama. The two Rio de Janeiro clubs traded one goal after the other in a 4-4 thriller – the draw continuing Flamengo’s unbeaten run and helping to maintain their lead over Palmeiras in table.
Nonetheless, the feisty mid-week tie, coupled with an upcoming Copa Libertadores Final, forced Flamengo manager Jorge Jesus, into fielding a heavily rotated squad on Sunday against Grêmio. Jesus stuck with his standard 4-2-3-1 formation, but made wholesale changes to the defense, as Renê, the rarely used Rhodolfo, Thuler and Rodinei replaced the four who featured mid-week. Furthermore, the manager gave the night off to defensive midfielders, Willian Arão and Gerson – swapping them for Diego and Robert Piris. The only holdover in the attacking midfield line was the much hyped youngster, Reinier, who was joined by Giorgian De Arrascaeta and Lucas Silva, while Gabriel Barbosa kept his place up top.
Meanwhile, Grêmio continue to fight for the fourth and final automatic 2020 Libertadores place. Manager, Renato Gaúchoi, has his side playing some of their best football of the season, as Grêmio managed to string together five straight . . .