Well Luxa said he was going to attack and attack he did. The major changes were Robson on the right side of midfield for German, and Leo for Para at left back. This was Leo's 300th game for Santos. Congratulations and thank you for your service to the club.
The team came out attacking and managed to get a two goal lead earlier into the first half. Madson pounced onto an idle back header to make it one nil. Shortly after K. Pereira doubled the score with some great work to dummy his defender and a thunderous finish into the back of the net. Madson had a chance to make it 3x0 but his chip landed on top of the net. Everything looked rosy, Inter were being dominated and we were into a 2x0 lead.
Then Inter pulled them selves back into the game.
Slowly they began asserting themselves and exposing our weak defense. The first goal started down the right when an ill advised tackle let Taison free down the wing. The low cross was harmless enough, but some laziness from Sabia and Leo allowed Alecsandro to tap it in from close range.
Inter equalized from a free kick where Alecandro escaped from his marker to nod in from close range. Some of the blame must go to Felipe though. He should have come to claim the cross.
Thus halftime came and the game was tied at 2x2.
Right after the restart we came close to scoring though two close long range efforts by Ganso. Then K. Pereira had a header saved. A superb cross from Leo provided the opportunity. Inter were again on the ropes as we came at them but it from the next goal it seems the team got caught up in attacking.
Leo was bringing the ball out from the bak where he lost in. I counted FIVE players in a line running back to defend. That was comical. The teams was out of position too much and that has been a consistent problem.
Eventually the ball made it's way to a wide open Alecsandro who curled the ball into the back of the net. Seeing the goal in real time one would have thought that it was George Lucas' fault when he left Alecsandro to cover Andrezinho. On close inspection, Lucas' movement would have left Alecsandro offside if it weren't for Eli Sabia who didn't step up to play the offside trap.
The score was now 2x3 but we kept on pressing. The tying goal came soon after.
George Lucas received the ball on the right wing and crossed the ball exquisitely onto the head of K. Pereira who nodded it home. He gave Lauro no chance. That made the score 3x3.
The game was still a lively affair as both teams searched for the winner. Then a penalty area scrap during a Santos free kick caused the referee to send off K. Pereira and Sorondo. This caused the game to slow somewhat, as neither team wanted to leave space at the back when only 10 men on the field.
Before full time Danilo of Inter received a second yellow card for time wasting. Inter were down to 9 men and we smelled blood.
The team led a final charge against Inter who packed it in. After four minutes of added time the ref blew the whistle to end a throughly entertaining match.
The teams new attacking mentality was a breath of fresh air, but the defensive recklessness that can with it was worrying. In addition to players being caught out of position too much, our defense doesn't seem to be strong enough to support an all out attack mode. Eli Sabia who looks decent when the team plays defensive showed himself to be a dud today. Luxa needs to invest into a new center back. Souto and Mancha also moved up too much and forgot to protect the defense at times.
If Luxa can teach the team how to balance this new attacking mentality with their defensive duties this could be a great thing to continue.
George Lucas is without doubt one of the best players on the team already. His crossing and set pieces are something to behold.
The next game is at home to Fluminese. K. Pereira is suspended, so this may be the debut of Jean. He said today, "Adoro marcar gols", let's hope that bodes well. Para is back from suspension and - I am sad to say - should replace Leo. I think he showed his age against Inter.
Emerson may be available and would be an interesting starter combined with this attacking mentality. He could be the wall in front of the defense while Souto provides support going forward.
Fluminese are at the bottom of the table and this should be a comfortable win.
Reports say that Roberto Carlos wants to come to Santos after his contract with Fenerbache is finished. He says it was his father's dream for him to play for Santos.
He would be an excellent signing IMO.