Brasileiro Round 19: Spectacular Neymar double downs Palmeiras

The mercurial 20-year-old provided the difference as Santos fought from behind to defeat Luiz Felipe Scolari's side despite being the worse side for much of the game

Brasileiro: Round 19 Results


Palmeiras 1-2 Santos

Two goals from Neymar secured Santos a 2-1 win over a Palmeiras side who were largely the better team at the Pacaembu.

Luiz Felipe Scolari was honoured with a plaque for 400 games in charge of the Verdao before the match and it was his side that started more impressively. Juninho regularly attacked down the left flank and caused the Peixe a number of problems, yet it was not until midway through the half that Palmeiras created an opening. Hernan Barcos, recently called up to Alejandro Sabella's Argentina squad, broke through the defensive line, but his squared pass to Mazinho was cleared away by Durval. The hosts got the goal their performance deserved though as Correa scored his first goal since returning to Brazilian football with a low drive from the top of the box after 41 minutes.

However, it was the individual brilliance of Neymar that levelled the scores just minutes before the break. The 20-year-old showed immense technique as he caressed a sweetly struck free kick in off the post, giving Bruno no chance of stopping it. Palmeiras remained on top for much of the second half but Neymar popped up once more in the 63rd minute, giving his side the lead with a low effort that dribbled past the scrambling Bruno who could possibly have done better to keep it out. His counterpart, Rafael, made sure of the points for the visitors as he denied Barcos with a fantastic reaction save in the closing stages.

The win sees Santos move into the top half of the table as they now occupy ninth position. Palmeiras, however, remain dangerously close to the relegation zone in 16th.

Vasco da Gama 1-2 Fluminense

A Thiago Neves double earned Fluminense all three points with a 2-1 triumph in the Classico dos Gigantes against Vasco.

In a relatively low-key first half chances were at a premium between the sides placed second and third in the league at the start of the round. With 17 minutes on the clock Fred thought he had given the Tricolor Carioca the lead when he headed in from Carlinhos' cross but the referee awarded the hosts a free kick for a push by the striker. Little else happened until Alecsandro backheeled the ball just wide of the goal in the second half and it was a miss that proved costly as Thiago Neves broke the deadlock with a stunning volley after a swift counterattack by Abel Braga's men.

Vasco drew level almost immediately though as Juninho Pernambucano's cross was diverted into the back of the net by Fluminense defender Gum in the 73rd minute. They almost went ahead for the first time on the night soon after but Carlos Tenorio headed the ball against the bar after lifting it over Diego Cavalieri. There was still time for a winner though, but it went the way of Fluminense. Thiago Neves fired a pinpoint 20-yard free kick into the bottom corner of Fernando Prass' goal with the keeper rooted just three minutes from time.

Fluminense opened up a five-point gap over third position with the result but it is no longer over Cristovao Borges' men, who drop to fourth place.

Corinthians 1-2 Sao Paulo

Corinthians suffered their second consecutive defeat as they went down 2-1 to Sao Paulo in the Majestoso derby at the Pacaembu.

The reigning Brasileirao holders started the game superbly and opened the scoring after just six minutes. Paulo Assuncao was caught on the ball by Paulinho and the sought-after midfielder put it on a plate for Emerson Sheik who swept it past Rogerio Ceni. The Tricolor Paulista remained sloppy in possession and their inability to hold on the ball only remained unpunished due to two good saves from their keeper to deny Romarinho and Douglas before Rhodolfo inadvertently diverted Emerson's shot over the bar.

Sao Paulo restored parity in the 24th minute as they capitalised on an intercepted pass to break at speed with Lucas Moura. The 20-year-old beat two players before picking out Luis Fabiano and he slotted the ball past Cassio and into the far corner. Maicon could have given the visitors the lead by netting one of two chances that came either side of the break but Fabiano succeeded where he failed in the 62nd minute. The former Sevilla striker latched onto Jadson's through-ball before rounding Cassio and passing into an empty net.

The Timao were unable to respond against their cross-city rivals and thus fall to 11th spot in the table while Ney Franco's men climb to fifth.

Cruzeiro 2-2 Atletico Mineiro

Atletico Mineiro had their lead at the Brasileiro summit cut to 1 point after a dramatic 2-2 draw with Belo Horizonte rivals Cruzeiro.

Only fans of the Raposa were able to attend the clash between the two sides at the Independencia and they will no doubt have been pleased at the quick start from their side. Fabinho was withdrawn with injury in the 16th minute and just one minute later his replacement, Wallyson, scored his first goal of the season by sliding to get onto the end of Everton's cross. However, Celso Roth's team could not hold on until half time as Leonardo Silva netted a scorching volley from Ronaldinho's flick on to tie the game going into the break.

Both teams were reduced to 10 men in the second half as Leandro Guerreiro and Bernard received their second yellow cards following an altercation near the touchline that led to a lengthy break in play as missiles were thrown onto the pitch. It got even worse for Galo as they had Pierre sent off in the closing stages, but a superb solo effort from Ronaldinho looked to have won the game for the league leaders in the 90th minute. Walter Montillo struck the frame of the goal moments later but in the 12th minute of stoppage time he supplied the cross for Mateus to grab an astonishing equaliser.

Atletico now hold a single-point lead over Fluminense but they do still hold a game in hand, while Cruzeiro remain in eighth place.

Best of the Rest

Ponte Preta ended a run of four games without a win as they defeated Portuguesa 2-1. Vanderlei Luxemburgo masterminded Gremio to a 1-0 victory over Porto Alegre-rivals Internacional at the Beira-Rio while there was nothing to separate Rio clubs Botafogo and Flamengo in a 0-0 draw. Sport Recife and Nautico shared the spoils in a goalless fixture but Figueirense secured a vital three points as they defeated Coritiba 3-1 at the Orlando Scarpelli. Bahia stayed out of the relegation zone as they drew 1-1 with Atletico Goianiense.

Player of the Round

With Neymar in their side Santos are undefeated this season and his return from the Olympics, along with that of Rafael and Ganso, has prompted the seaside town to climb up the table. The 20-year-old has only featured in six Brasileiro matches so far this season but already has five goals to his name after a spectacular double against Palmeiras on Saturday night. Neymar showed utter class with both his strikes, but a move to Europe is desperately needed for him to really test himself on a regular basis.