Brazilian soccer and Palmeiras continue to reign in America. The final of the Copa Libertadores faced the last two champions and the São Paulo team revalidated the title of the previous edition by defeating Flamengo (2-1) in the Centennial of Montevideo thanks to a goal from Deyverson, former forward of Levante, Alavés and Getafe, in the 5th minute of extra time.

Palmeiras, who in January won the 2020 edition by defeating the Brazilian Santos in the final (1-0), becomes the first team to win two Libertadores in a row from Boca Juniors since 2000 and 2001. The ‘verdao’ celebrates its third title (the first was achieved in 1999) after the two achieved under the direction of Portuguese coach Abel Ferreira, a disciple of José Mourinho.

Raphael Veiga brand ready

The final was marked by a quick goal from Palmeiras in the 6th minute after a perfect three-touch play. The center-back Gustavo Gómez put a deep ball, the side Mayke broke in on the right and his center behind was finished off by Raphael Veiga coming from behind.

After the goal Flamengo, with the veteran Diego Alves, David Luiz and Filipe Luis in their ranks, although he retired injured after half an hour, he controlled the ball but it was an unsuccessful domain since Everton Ribeiro and Giorgian De Arrascaeta, his players with more talent, little came into play and Gabriel Barbosa ‘Gabigol’, top producer of the tournament, was unassisted.

Flamengo, without options in the first part

Palmeiras, very serious in defense and compact, conceded very little, played with intelligence and came out on the counterattack with discretion, sowing panic in the Rio de Janeiro area on occasion.

Just before the break came the practically only goal option for Flamengo when Bruno Henrique dropped a cross and De Arrascaeta’s point-blank shot was stopped by Weverton (42 ‘).

Gabigol fails 1-1

In the resumption the final maintained its intense and dynamic rhythm. Flamengo came out determined and Gabigol quickly had the tie in two consecutive actions. In the second, after a corner, the striker became a bit unbalanced and failed to put his foot or his head to push the ball just glued to the post.

Rony forced Diego Alves to fly to deflect a thread from outside the area that slipped in (53 ‘), but Palmeiras again showed signs of weakness in the strategy actions in another corner that Bruno Henrique headed and the ball went out licking the pole (60 ‘).

The ‘Pichichi’ ties

Flamengo pushed, Palmeiras could not go so far against the counter and, in the 72nd minute, De Arrascaeta finally connected on the left with Gabigol who, free of mark, put the ball close to the first post with a perfect kick. Weverton did not cover his stick well but the forward struck with precision and tied with his 11th goal of the tournament.

Palmeiras, already tired, accused the blow and Flamengo reached the final section better to the point that Michael received only on the right and wasted a great opportunity by crossing too much (85 ‘).

The serious mistake that decides the final

But as soon as the extension started, a monumental blunder by Andreas Pereira definitely decided the final even. The former Granada and Valencia player, on loan from Manchester United, received David Luiz as the last player in defense and Deyverson stole the ball, went alone and beat Diego Alves (95 ‘) in his desperate exit. The former Levante, Getafe and Alavés striker had just left at the start of extra time for the rampaging Raphael Veiga. An offensive change that rewarded the daring of Portuguese Abel Ferreira.

Palm trees: Weverton; Mayke (d.105, Gabriel Menino), Luan García, Gustavo Gómez, Joaquín Piquerez (d.112, Felipe Melo); Zé Rafael (m.81, Danilo Barbosa), Danilo (m.69, Patrick De Paula); Gustavo Scarpa, Raphael Veiga (d.90, Deyverson), Dudu (d.77, Wesley Ribeiro) and Rony. Trainer: Abel Ferreira
Flamengo: Diego Alves; Mauricio Isla (m.79, Matheuzinho), Rodrigo Caio, David Luiz, Filipe Luis m. 31, René); Willian Arao, Andreas Pereira (d.110, Pedro); Éverton Ribeiro (m.63, Michael), Giorgian de Arrascaeta (m.110, Vitinho); Bruno Henrique (m.90, Kenedy) and Gabriel Barbosa. Trainer: Renato Gaucho.
Goals: 1-0, m.5: Raphael Veiga. 1-1, m, 72: Gabriel Barbosa. 2-1, m.96: Deyverson.
Referee: Argentine Nestor Pitana. He admonished Rodrigo Caio, Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Gabriel Barbosa, Gustavo Gómez, Felipe Melo and Joaquín Piquerez.
Incidents: Final of the 2021 edition of the Copa Libertadores, played at the Centenario stadium, in Montevideo.

see match file