Brasileiro Round 23: Solitary Fred strike at Internacional keeps Fluminense on top

After being snubbed by Mano Menezes for the recent Brazil squad, the 27-year-old striker kept up his impressive club form with the winning goal in an ill-tempered affair

Brasileiro: Round 23 Results


Internacional 0-1 Fluminense

Fluminense made it 11 games without defeat as they came out on top at the Beira-Rio with a 1-0 win over Internacional that included three red cards.

After a relatively slow start to the game, both sides were left incensed as they had penalty claims denied by the referee, who was seemingly saving his cards for later in the game. Nevertheless, Flu did eventually take the lead in the 29th minute. Wellington Nem did brilliantly to dribble past two players before slipping the ball to Fred and the 27-year-old duly slotted the ball under Muriel. In the absence of Leandro Damiao, Dagoberto was doing well to lead Inter's charge for an equaliser, but they struggled to test Diego Cavalieri.

The former Sao Paulo forward saw an effort cleared of the line by Leandro Euzebio shortly after the restart, but in 57th minute their task was made tougher as Nei was dismissed for a second bookable offence. However, Euzebio went from hero to villain moments later as he too was shown red for a kick on Indio. Despite a number of chances neither side could find the back of the net again and the frustrations of the hosts showed in stoppage time with Fabricio becoming the third player to be sent from the field of play for dissent after the final whistle.

Fluminense remain at the top of the league while Internacional currently sit in seventh position.

Corinthians 3-1 Gremio

Gremio fell behind in the title race with a 3-1 loss at the hands of reigning champions Corinthians at the Pacaembu.

The Timao enjoyed an explosive start to the game, netting twice inside the first 11 minutes. Marcelo Grohe will consider himself unlucky to have conceded the first, as after a great stop to deny Guilherme, Ralf picked up the loose ball and bent a great shot into the far corner to put Tite's men ahead after six minutes. Guilherme was not to be stopped at the next time of asking either, as Edenilson did well to control the ball in a tight space and thread the ball to his team-mate who tucked it away. It could have been three before the break but Juan Manuel Martinez was unable to add to his side's tally as he blazed the ball well over the bar.

Vanderlei Luxemburgo's men managed to halve the deficit in the 58th minute when Leandro tapped home from Marquinhos' square pass. Julio Cesar pulled out one of the saves of the season to deny Elano as the Imortal Tricolor sought to tie the game, but as they overcommitted, Corinthians struck in the final moments. Giovanni was allowed to turn and face the goal in the area from Adilson's pass and he bent a majestic effort in by the far post which left Marcelo Grohe with no chance.

Corinthians move back into the top half with victory, currently sitting in ninth place and while Gremio stay put in third spot they have seen the gap at the top widen.

Vasco da Gama 0-4 Bahia

Vasco da Gama's poor form continued as they took a thrashing at the hands of Bahia at the Sao Januario, meaning they have won just one game in their last eight matches.

Vasco have been on an awful run of late, but in all fairness, three of their last four defeats have come against the top three sides in the league. The team appear stale and their performance against Bahia was no different. The lacked conviction in the final third and shortly before half-time the visitors took the lead. Jones Carioca, who had been a handful for much of the first-half, drove to the byline and stood the ball up at the back post where Souza was on hand to nod home.

Things failed to get any better after the break as Jones found the back of the net from close range in the 49th minute, despite seeing his initial effort blocked by a defender. It only took another 10 minutes for the Tricolor Bahiaco to score again, and this time Souza returned the favour for his strike partner. His perfectly-weighted through-ball found Jones and he rounded Fernando Prass and slotted in his second of the night. Carlos Tenorio missed a golden chance to give the Gigante de Colina a route back into the game and in the 70th minute it was put well beyong their reach as Souza rolled the ball in from Helder's cross.

A frustrating evening for Cristovao Borges' men was compounded as Jonas was dismissed in the 74th minute, but they hold onto fourth place despite that defeat. Bahia meanwhile rise to 14th position, five points clear of the relegation zone.

Atletico Mineiro 3-0 Palmeiras

Atletico Mineiro returned to winning ways, having gone four games without tasting victory, as they defeated Palmeiras 3-0 at the Independencia.

The fixture started at a frenetic pace with Bernard seeing an effort blocked on the line by Thiago Heleno before Obina had a goal chalked off for offside in the 20th minute. Victor ensured the scores remained level at half-time with a brilliant reaction save to stop Luan's header from from finding the back of the net.

But it only took seven second-half minutes for the deadlock to be broken and it went the way of the hosts as Leonardo Silva headed home from Ronaldinho's corner.

Galo eased off after taking the lead with a solitary effort from Bernard their best chance of the half. That was until the 84th minute when Leonardo threaded a great pass up to Bernard and he carried it forward and placed an accurate finish past Bruno. After a fine save from Victor to maintain the two-goal cushion, Bernard added his second of the night by capitalising on a lack of communication in the Palmeiras defence to poke the ball away from Bruno and fire into an empty net in stoppage time.

The win ensures that the Alvinegro keep pace with Fluminense and they can leapfrog them should they win their game in hand against Flamengo. For the Verdao however, the situation becomes increasingly perilous as they sit in 18th position.

Best of the Rest

Ponte Preta and Figueirense played out an exciting 2-2 draw in Campinas, while elsewhere in the Paulista state, Santos and Sao Paulo also shared the spoils in a starkly contrasting dour stalemate. Coritiba added to the woes of Flamengo fans with a 3-0 triumph at the Couto Pereira and Botafogo also hit the same amount, including a delightful backheel goal from Elkeson, which helped to see off Nautico 3-1 in Rio de Janeiro. Sport Recife came form behind to sink Cruzeiro 2-1 and Atletico Goianiense picked up another valuable point at home to Portuguesa in a 1-1 tie.

Player of the Round

Jones Carioca played a pivotal role in Bahia's trouncing of Vasco in Rio at the weekend. His power and pace made him a real nuisance to the hosts' defence and the on-loan Cruzeiro striker gave a fantastic account of himself. He showed great pace and craft to create the opening goal before showing his clinical ability in the penalty area, with two goals in the second-half. As Bahia continue to pull away from the relegation zone, it will be performances such as this one that will be savoured should they remain in the Brasileiro.