The 34-year-old rolled back the years with a timeless and classy performance that saw him play a part in every single one of Fluzao's four goals in Rio de Janeiro
Deco was at his creative best as Fluminense won just their second game of the season with a 4-1 victory over Portuguesa at the Engenhao.
Brasileiro: Round 5 Results
Brasileiro: Round 5 Results
|Fluminense 4-1 Portuguesa
There was a very tentative start to the match as Fluzao did not enjoy the kind of superiority that was expected in the early stages. The visitors peppered Diego Cavalieri's goal with shots but struggled to hit the target. Wellington Nem did not suffer the same fate as he tapped in the rebound to Fred's shot after the striker had been played in by Deco just before half time.
Soon after the break the lead was doubled as Anderson rose highest to nod in from Deco's corner at the near post. It seemed that the game was only going one way but in the 64th minute Ricardo Jesus halved the deficit with a glancing header from Leo Silva's delivery. After rattling the bar Lusa's hopes of a comeback were dashed when Fred controlled Deco's lofted pass with his chest and rifled a shot across Gledson and into the bottom corner. The former Barcelona playmaker completed a hat-trick of direct assist with a scything through-ball to substitute Manuel Lanzini who slotted home in the closing moments.
The victory moves the undefeated Flu up to sixth position in the table while Portuguesa remain in the bottom half in 16th place.
|Palmeiras 1-1 Vasco da Gama
Palmeiras continued the form from their solid 2-0 win over Gremio in the Copa do Brasil in midweek and were unlucky not to take all three points against Vasco da Gama.
Early in the first half Luan charged into space on the left and cut the ball back into the area where Joao Vitor failed to make even the slightest of contact to turn the ball on target. Juninho Pernambucano soon began to alter the flow of the game as he pulled the strings from midfield. Eder Luis and Alecsandro both saw efforts held by Bruno after the some expert assistance from the former Olympique Lyonnais man.
Palmeiras would have been disheartened to lose Marcos Assuncao to injury in the first half but they showed little sign of that being the case after the break. Hernan Barcos chipped an effort narrowly wide but Mazinho gave the hosts the lead with a jinking run that was capped with a pinpoint finish in a superb individual goal. The Gigante de Colina were unlucky not to get a penalty after defender Juninho handled Eder Luis' cross but they eventually restored parity in the 83rd minute. Ironically, from a free kick awarded for handball Juninho hammered in a trademark finish directly from the dead ball.
The goal ensured that Vasco remain undefeated so far this season and hold onto top-spot. Palmeiras remain in the relegation zone but their performances in the past two games will give cause for optimism.
|Internacional 1-2 Botafogo
Botafogo showed tremendous character as they came from behind to defeat a lacklustre Internacional side 2-1 at the Beira-Rio.
The stage was set for a scintillating performance from the home side with Andres D'Alessandro, Oscar, Leandro Damiao and Dagoberto all combining in the forward line for the first time this season. However, it proved to be anything but that. Fogao controlled possession for large parts of the game but lacked the finishing touch in the first period. Their inability to create chances enabled Inter to score the first goal as Oscar's cross was headed back across goal by Damiao to Dagoberto who diverted it into the back of the net.
The Rio de Janeiro club were unfortunate to find themselves behind but they pulled level just before the hour mark as Vitor Junior broke down the right before passing to former Inter player Andrezinho. His first touch saw the ball get away from him but he recovered with an exquisite strike on the bounce that nestled in the top corner from 25 yards out. Oswaldo de Oliveira's side were in the ascendancy and Fellype Gabriel gave them the lead as he converted from Andrezinho's corner.
The Colorado offered little to turn the game around suffering a result that raises the pressure on Dorival Junior. Botafogo however will have been pleased to be on the other side of a comeback as they rise to fourth in the league.
|Sao Paulo 1-0 Atletico Mineiro
Ronaldinho tasted defeat for the first time as an Atletico Mineiro player thanks to a solitary strike from Luis Fabiano at the Morumbi.
The two big names on both sides were in decent form and had the best opportunities to seize the initiative in the first half. Firstly, Jo headed straight at Denis after Ronaldinho had done well to work space and clip a ball to the striker. Then, Lucas found Fabiano on the right corner of the box but after cutting inside he pulled his left-footed effort wide of the near post. Having seen an effort saved by Giovanni moments before, Jadson successfully tried his hand at creating with a superb pass to Fabiano who dinked the ball over the keeper on the stroke of half time.
In what was a golden chance to level in the second half, Rever and Jo both failed to make contact with a flick on from Ronaldinho's free kick. Galo were playing some very fluid football in attack but continued their profligacy in front of goal as Bernard fired straight at Denis after turning his marker at the top of the box. A shaky final five minutes were set up as Fabiano was dismissed for a despicable display of dissent as he failed to calm down after an initial booking.
Nevertheless Emerson Leao's side held on to the win meaning that all of their previous four victories, in all competitions, have been by a 1-0 scoreline while the defeat sees Atletico drop to third place.
|Best of the Rest
Wellington Paulista scored a delightful goal as Cruzeiro rose to second in the table with a 1-0 win over Figueirense. With Copa Libertadores commitments seeing Santos and Corinthians field second-string sides, both teams lost by a 1-0 scoreline to Flamengo and Ponte Preta respectively. Bahia emerged as 2-1 victors over Sport Recife while Atletico Goianiense remain without a win after going down 3-0 to Coritiba. Nautico secured back-to-back victories as they left it late to defeat 10-man Gremio in Recife.
|Player of the Round
Having shown some of his best form since returning to Brazil during this year's Carioca state championship, when Deco picked up an injury last month it seemed his renaissance was over. Yet the 34-year-old put in a magnificent display in his second match back in the side and almost single-handedly dismantled Portuguesa, playing a part in every one of Fluminense's four goals. With the former Barcelona and Chelsea man supporting the likes of Fred and Wellington Nem the Rio de Janeiro club stand a fantastic chance of a title challenge this year.