Palmeiras Under 20 – Match Report vs. Oeste Under 20 (19/01/2022)

Palmeiras had an impressive performance in the quarter-finals of the 2022 Copinha, knocking out Oeste with 5-2 after scoring three goals in the first 15 minutes. Palmeiras had a direct style of play, playing a lot of through passes to Gabriel Silva and Endrick. They set up in a 4-4-2/4-2-4 and all players were very comfortable on the ball. Palmeiras was always quick to progress the ball further up the pitch thanks to the good ball-playing ability of the central defenders, but also central midfielders Pedro Bicalho and Fabinho. The attackers of Palmeiras had a lot of quality in the 1v1s and Oeste’s defenders failed to stop Palmeiras from scoring five goals.

In the 2nd minute of the game, Oeste had a big chance to open the score, but they missed in front of an open goal. Palmeiras subsequently tried to build out from the back and Oeste tried to put high pressure on Palmeiras’s backline, but (I think it was) Naves who played a good aerial pass into midfield, where Palmeiras had a lot of space to dive into. Gabriel Silva made a good run in behind and received the ball. He played an aerial pass to Giovani, who headed it back to Garcia. Garcia had a shot from outside the box, Gabriel Silva managed to score the rebound. A few minutes later, Giovani received the ball in the box after a Palmeiras cross was not well-cleared by Oeste and he managed to finish the chance with a lot of conviction.

Endrick’s 3-0 was the best goal of the evening and probably the best goal of the entire tournament:

Giovani missed for an open goal a few minutes later, but after another good run by Gabriel Silva Palmeiras got awarded a penalty. Pedro Bicalho, contrary to his missed penalty against Internacional, scored the penalty to make it 4-0 for Palmeiras. After this, Palmeiras cruised to victory and never got into any problems, despite conceding two goals. Giovani managed to score another goal for Palmeiras after Gabriel Silva showed good determination and perseverance in a ground duel.

Youth Ratings

1 – Ready for the first team
2 – Good, potential to be first team
3 – Decent, could make first team squad
4 – Decent potential, unlikely to make it to first team
5 – Unlikely to make first team

Endrick

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 15
  • Date of birth: 21/07/2006
  • Current club: Palmeiras
  • Career: Palmeiras
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: Winger
  • Preferred foot: Left

Endrick played as one of the two strikers and formed a duo with Gabriel Silva. Both attackers were tasked to make many runs in behind and exploit the space that Oeste’s defenders left open. Endrick sometimes looked a bit inexperienced in the final third, where he struggled to find space in the box. His runs in behind from a deeper area were good, but not outstanding. He did well to use his explosive acceleration to get away from his marker and always created danger. Sometimes he could have started his run later, as he needed to wait for a second before he could continue his run. Gabriel Silva was more effective in making runs in behind.

The striker most of the times made runs in behind and did not come short often. However, when he did come short he showed that even though he is just 15, he’s not a push-over for the opposition’s defence. Endrick has good balance and managed to protect the ball well when he received a powerful pass. His opponent would try to push him off-balance but failed to do so as Endrick still managed to control the ball well. In some situations the 15-year-old attacker managed to turn away from his opponent very well. Endrick showed that he is tricky and skilful in tight spaces, nutmegging his opponent before being fouled.

Sometimes Endrick played a first-time through pass to Giovani after receiving the ball from deep. In these situations he showed that he has excellent technique, as he managed to put the perfect power and speed on the ball. The Brazilian youngster strikes the ball well and is capable of delivering good shots from distance. In this match he even scored a bicycle kick from the edge of the box. Endrick occasionally linked up well with his opponents after holding up play well. In one situation he managed to find Gabriel Silva with a good through pass and this led to the penalty.

Concluding, I would like Endrick to improve his timing on his runs at times, as he sometimes needs to stop his run for a second before continuing his run. Moreover, I would like to see Endrick being more active in possession as he has the quality to hold up play and link up with his teammates. Next to that, I would like Endrick to improve his movement in the box with more elements of surprise. He has the explosive acceleration to change his run last-minute to get away from his marker in the box. Lastly, Endrick sometimes needed to be coached by his manager to put pressure on Oeste’s back-line, which he did not do without being coached.

Rating – 2

Endrick, together with Rayan Cherki, is the most-talented 15-year-old player I have ever seen. I think he could make an instant impact for Palmeiras’s first-team coming from the bench late in the game, but I would understand it if Palmeiras will let Endrick play for the reserves in the upcoming season.

Giovani

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 01/01/2004
  • Current club: Palmeiras
  • Career: Palmeiras
  • Position: Right-Winger
  • Secondary Position: Left-Winger, Striker
  • Preferred foot: Left

Giovani played as a right-winger against Oeste and had a man of the match performance for Palmeiras under 20. The Brazilian youngster showed good variation in his positioning. He either dropped deep while sticking close to the sideline or made a run in behind when Palmeiras were building out from the back. Giovani created a lot of danger throughout the match with his ball-carrying ability and the timing of his runs. The 18-year-old, when dropping deep, usually chose the easy option and did not take many risks. However, further up the pitch, he showed his creativity and vision to (try to) find teammates when they made a run in behind.

During the times that Giovani stuck close to the sideline and received the ball, he liked to carry the ball inside. Giovani looked over the ball and managed to spot his teammates very well. His through passing was inconsistent, especially his over the top chipped through passes sometimes were too powerful. His through passing over the ground was much better. In other situations, he carried the ball while sticking close to the sideline, provoking his opponent and waiting for his opponent to try to intercept the ball. Giovani was quick to react when his opponent would try to intercept the ball and always cut back to his stronger left foot.

The Brazilian winger often played a backwards pass to Garcia in these situations, but also tried to put in some Antony-esque crosses from deep. He showed his good kicking technique in these situations but failed to create any chances with his crosses. Giovani also liked to link up with his teammates in tight spaces. He would always pass the ball with the outside of his boot before continuing his run. The winger, like Endrick, has an explosive acceleration that helps him to reach the ball before his opponent. His dribbling technique is also really good. He is capable of sprinting at full speed while keeping the ball under control well and can change directions very quickly.

Giovani had four big scoring opportunities in this match. The first one was after he received the ball in the box, which he finished off with a lot of conviction and confidence. He missed his second big chance after he made a great run into the box, using his acceleration and pace over a long distance to lose his marker. However, he failed to score in front of an open goal. The third chance was after he made a good run in behind once again. Giovani dribbled past the goalkeeper, but lost his balance and failed to score in front of an open goal on his weaker right foot (it was a tight angle). His final chance was scored by Giovani. He did well to stay onside and managed to pass the goalkeeper with his right foot.

Rating – 1

Giovani had an excellent performance for Palmeiras under 20. The winger has already played fourteen matches for the first team of Palmeiras, which showed in this match. He is ready to have an instant impact for Palmeiras and it would not surprise me if Europe’s biggest clubs will try to sign him in the near future.

Gabriel Silva

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 22/03/2002
  • Current club: Palmeiras
  • Career: Palmeiras
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: Second Striker, Attacking Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Gabriel Silva played as a striker in the match against Oeste and formed a partnership with 15-year-old Endrick. The attacker mainly stood out with his off the ball movement and spatial awareness. The 19-year-old scored once, won a penalty and assisted one goal. The Brazilian made several runs in behind and timed all of his runs very well. He often managed to make a run in the blindside of Oeste’s defenders which made his runs very effective. Gabriel Silva has excellent technique – his first touch is great, he has good ball control and his kicking technique is good too.

It was hard for the Oeste defenders to beat Gabriel Silva in a 1v1 duel, as Gabriel Silva protected the ball well and used his good acceleration to get away from his marker. Even in physical duels he was not easy beatable and managed to win most of the ground duels. Gabriel Silva had a really good touch while an opponent was leaning into him and has good balance. His composure in the final third was great and he often picked out the right pass in the final third. Next to that, Gabriel Silva showed good movement in the box and often got into good areas, opening up passing lanes for the wingers or full-backs. The striker showed great stamina as he kept making runs in behind.

As mentioned before, Gabriel Silva was involved in three out of five goals. In the first goal, he made a good run in behind, looked up and found Garcia in space. Garcia’s shot was parried by Oeste’s goalkeeper, but Gabriel Silva had positioned himself well and managed to score the rebound. Gabriel Silva was involved in the 3-0 as well, after he made another good run in behind he got tackled from behind by Oeste’s defender, leading to a penalty for Palmeiras which was scored. Lastly, Gabriel Silva made an assist after showing good determination and perseverance in the ground duel. He won the ball back, stayed composed and found Giovani in space.

Rating – 2

Like Endrick, Gabriel Silva could have an instant impact in Palmeiras’s first team coming from the bench. He has already played many matches for Palmeiras’s first team and looks really promising. He reportedly turned down an offer from Zorya (they bid €2,5M). I think he could be an interesting target for clubs like Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Ajax.

Fabinho

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 09/04/2002
  • Current club: Palmeiras
  • Career: Palmeiras
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfielder, Attacking Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Fabinho played as one of the two central midfielders against Oeste under 20. He showed a lot of characteristics that I really like from a central/defensive midfielder. His off the ball movement in the first phase of the build up made me think of Gustavo Assunção (Famalicão, 2019/20) and Enzo Fernandez (River Plate). Fabinho moved between the lines very smoothly and always opened up passing lanes for the central defenders. He constantly scanned and always turned the right way. His first touch under pressure was good and he sometimes managed to play out of pressure by simply turning his opponent, using his good first touch and acceleration to get away from his marker. Only sporadically, Fabinho had a loose first touch, but those situations were in the second half when Palmeiras were already guaranteed the win.

Fabinho’s distribution is great. His short passing is consistent and he always looks for the forward option. He sometimes plays very strong, powerful passes through the centre of the pitch. This was sometimes a bit risky, but those passes were always accurate. His passing range was great too. Fabinho sometimes managed to find his wingers with a great cross pass from his own half. Fabinho strikes the ball really well and his passing looks very clean. The midfielder looked very comfortable and calm on the ball. Defensively, Fabinho did well to stay behind the ball often and he positioned himself well to pick up Oeste’s clearances. His decision-making when Palmeiras’s organization did not look great was also really good, he did not step up in a situation where it was very tempting to go 100% for the loose ball but instead he stayed back and Palmeiras’s defence could get back in position quickly.

Would he have stepped up in that situation, then he would have lost that duel as Oeste’s midfielder would have gotten to that ball earlier. Fabinho had more situations in which he anticipated well to get in front of his opponent to intercept Oeste’s pass. Fabinho always stayed on his feet, looked good cutting passing lanes all the time and never made the wrong decision.

Rating – 2

People always talk about Endrick or Giovani when talking about Palmeiras, but I think that more people should talk about Gabriel Silva and Fabinho. Fabinho is already good enough to be a squad player for Palmeiras and just needs some experience at a higher level in a higher intensity league to keep developing.

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