Atlético Mineiro shook off its bad start in the 2023 Copa Libertadores on Tuesday by beating Athletico Paranaense 2-1 at home, getting fully into the fight for the Group G places for the round of 16.
The red and black, leaders of the area with 7 points in four games, went ahead in the Mineirão de Belo Horizonte World Cup stadium with a score of Alex Santana (51′).
But the albinegros, faithful to their offensive and possessional game script, turned it around with a double for Paulinho (68 ‘and 87’), solo scorer of the tournament, with seven goals.
The victory of the ‘Galo’, now escort with 6 points, tightens the area, waiting for Alianza Lima (3rd with 4 pts.) and Freedom (last, with 3 pts.) collide this Tuesday in Lima, at the end of the fourth day of the Group G.
Despite the defeat and the loss of their undefeated record, ‘Furacão’ can secure qualification when they host Gumarelo on June 6. That same day, Mineiro visits the Peruvians with the aim of consolidating his resurrection, after having lost his first two games.
🔥 Paulinho’s goals!
— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@Libertadores) May 24, 2023
Solidarity with Vinícius Jr.
The Brazilian duel realized the needs of each side, and also expressed solidarity with Vinicius JuniorReal Madrid star, victim of new racist acts weekend.
The eleventh-year-olds, as a whole, displayed a black stripe on the edge of the lawn with the message: “Let’s banish racism! Strength, Vini Jr.”
Mineiro, urged to add three, dominated the game and possession (73%) in the first half, faithful to the style that has permeated the Argentine coach Eduardo Coudet.
His efforts, as on other occasions, threatened to bear no fruit: they barely caused a dangerous option, in a right hand shot from Paulinho (16′) inside the area, which required Bento’s reflexes.
In the Mineirão, whose grass is still far from its best times, there were more wills and friction than real opportunities to unbalance the balance.
Paranaense, with the peace of mind that leadership gives, played the same game that allowed them to reach the second place in the Libertadores 2022: hold on in defense and kill on the counterattack.
Although the albinegros were very close to going ahead at the beginning of the second half (50′), with a left foot shot from Hyoran that Bento grazed and then hit his right post, the red and blacks landed them quickly.
Uruguayan midfielder Agustín Canobbio headed Christian, who fired with a right foot, demanding Everson’s reaction. Despite his notable stretch, the goalkeeper left a rebound that was used, in fits and starts, by Santana.
The ‘Galo’ seemed to skate in his lack of creativity until almost twenty minutes to go. So, he got a reward for his insurmountable will to go for the games, even with the advantage against.
Paulinho, his hero so far in the Cup, surpassed Colombian Dorlan Pabón (6) in the scorer table, with two goals that show his versatility.
In the first, he touched for Igor Gomes, he passed it to the Hulk so that he could pivot within 18 o’clock and the stocky striker left the ball served for him to kick with the right to violate Bento.
And in the second, with a header after a free kick taken by Igor Gomes, he consolidated the resurrection of the 2013 Libertadores champion.