Grêmio – São Paulo: Lethargic São Paulo Picked Apart By Grêmio (3-0)
An effective Grêmio press limited São Paulo in midfield and neutralized Dani Alves in buildup, making if difficult for the visitors to establish a foothold in the match. Meanwhile, the fluid play of Maicon and Everton allowed the home side to dominate in transition and cruise to an easy victory.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
The end of the 2019 Série A season is fast approaching and São Paulo are clinging on to the final Copa Libertadores qualifying spot. However, with one win in their past five matches the pressure is mounting on manager Fernando Diniz to deliver a place in the continent’s premier club tournament.
The pressure was eased slightly by a hard-fought, mid-week win over Vasco da Gama. Unfortunately, the importance of the fixtures this late in the season meant the manager was unable to rotate a tired group of players. The only change Diniz made for the match against Grêmio came in midfield, as he swapped Tchê Tchê for Luan Santos – making the switch to a 4-1-4-1 formation in the process. This meant Luan Santos was fielded in-behind an advanced midfield four of Vitor Bueno, Igor Gomes, captain Dani Alves and Antony.
Meanwhile, Grêmio are in their own Libertadores battle, as they spar with Club Athletico Paranaense for the fourth and final automatic qualifying spot. However, the battle was made more complicated by a mid-week loss to their competitors, which was a major let down after manager, Renato Gaucho’s side had delivered a riveting upset of Palmeiras in the previous round of . . .