Palmeiras stroll past River Plate 3-0 and have one foot in the Libertadores finals

In a game where the stats did not tell the story, Palmeiras made their chances count and beat River Plate 3-0 in the first leg of the Libertadores semi-final.
Palmeiras x river - libertadores
© Cesar Greco / Palmeiras

Palmeiras defeated River Plate 3-0 in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores semi-finals. It was an almost perfect performance in Argentina as the visiting side now has one eye on the title.

Rony, Luiz Adriano and Viña were on the score-sheet for Abel Ferreira’s side, while River Plate’s Carrascal received a red card in the second half for a bad foul on Menino.

River Plate were in full control of the ball possession for majority of the game, but it was the away side that did all the scoring.

Verdão scored from their very first shot on target in the first half. Roni took in a rebound shot after a poor clearance from the home side’s goalkeeper Armani in the 27th minute.

Rivers almost got a quick reply from a Nacho Fernández free kick that hit the cross bar, before conceding another in the 32nd minute. They were saved by the VAR after the goal was ruled out due to an offside situation.

Verdão were more precise in front of goal and they got their second goal just 2 minutes after the break. Luiz Adriano got past his marker with a sweet turn and scored the second goal for Palmeiras after he received a good pass from Danilo in the middle after a brilliant transition of play.

Things became more difficult for River Plate when Carrascal was expelled for a bad foul on Gabriel Menino, giving Viña the opportunity to add the goal tally. After a well taken free kick by Gustavo Scarpa, Viña met the cross with a header, making it 3-0.

After the third goal Abel Ferreira made three changes, brought in Raphael Veiga, Breno Lopes and Willian in other to control the game and avoid any form of scare in the end.

Verdão goes into the second leg on the upper foot with hope of reaching the finals, but before then they face Sport next Saturday in the Brazilian Championship.