Flamengo loses in a massive upset against Grêmio
Flamengo just lost a key match on Matchweek 21 to bottom feeders Grêmio. This is a massive loss for Flamengo since they want to compete for the title. With this result, Flamengo slid to third place behind Palmeiras and league leaders Atlético Mineiro.
Grêmio is currently in the relegation zone which makes this loss an embarrassing one for the two-time defending champs. They lost the game 0-1 after Miguel Borja's goal in the first half. It was a bad loss to take because Flamengo just beat them days before in the Brazilian Cup 2-0.
The underdog managed to learn from their loss and bounced back strong. Flamengo was complacent because they wanted to play the same way from their Cup win. They should’ve known that Grêmio would adjust their game plan to better suit the matchup.
Flamengo’s attack was toothless which was a key issue in the game as they had more possessions but they were careless with their offence.
Issues on both defence and offence
Flamengo usually plays with a sense of urgency across both offence and defence. This was an uncharacteristic loss for Flamengo because they typically win against the teams at the bottom of the league table. They are not a complacent bunch but they were in their worst form against Grêmio.
It was a bad loss because the squad was in full strength and no starter was injured. It was just an underwhelming performance as they squandered their chances to score while they let one go through. It was a strong push for Borja into the final third and it was enough for Grêmio to take the lead and win at the end of the game.
Andreas Pereira played well but he couldn’t help the forwards finish off their chances which was the deciding factor. They need to be more clinical in the future if they want to win the title because the other top contenders are looking to pounce on the opportunity that Flamengo gave them with this loss.
Flamengo still has games in hand which is a positive for the club’s three-peat bid. However, they need to be more decisive and assertive if they want to keep that trophy in their grasp.
Lessons should be taken from this loss
This was a bad loss and it might be the deciding factor for Flamengo’s campaign. Losing all three points is a big deal for a close title race between Flamengo, Mineiro, and Palmeiras. If the gap between all three teams is just within three points, this is a loss that the Rubro-Negro will surely regret at the end of the season.
This should also be a lesson to the fans who have thrown harsh words at the players. They know they made mistakes during this game and piling harsh comments on their grief should not be done. Full-back Mauricio Isla talked about how the club will still fight for the title despite all of the harsh words he received on social media.
He said, ‘Fight to the end always. The bad moments will pass. It hasn't been easy since I was a kid, but one thing I've never done is give up my dreams. This is my constant struggle, which has kept me giving more every day, I never get tired of fighting because it will lead to triumph’.
Isla’s comments are a glimpse into the team’s mindset. It would be a mistake to doubt this team because they’ve proven they can win titles in the past two years.
Words: Cholo Martin