Brasileiro: Round 21 Results
|Internacional 4-1 Flamengo
Things did not start well for Fernandao's men as a slow start saw them fall behind with just 14 minutes on the clock. The in-form Vagner Love netted his 10th goal of the season as Muriel sliced a pass from his defender back towards his own goal and the former CSKA Moscow beat him to the loose ball to tap in a gift of a goal. More suspect play at the back, this time from the visitors, saw parity restored moments before the half-hour mark as Dorival Junior's return to his former club soon went downhill. Fred's cross was not dealt with properly by Ramon and Diego Forlan pounced to slot home his first goal for the Porto Alegre outfit.
Inter then went ahead in the 40th minute as Josimar rifled the ball past Felipe as the Flamengo defence failed to clear a set piece from deep. The Rio de Janeiro side remained guilty of sloppy football and it again had a part to play in the hosts' next goal. Possession was given away cheaply and the Colorado countered, and after Andres D'Alessandro rattled the post, Forlan was on hand to poke in the rebound. The scoring was completed 15 minutes from time as Leandro Damiao lost his marker and used the space to find the far corner with a fine diving header.
Inter now sit in joint sixth position, level with Cruzeiro on 34 points, while Flamengo continue to languish in 12th place.
|Corinthians 1-0 Atletico Mineiro
Corinthians damaged Atletico Mineiro's Brasileirao ambitions as they defeated the Belo Horizonte side 1-0 at the Pacaembu.
Despite being top of the league, Galo were without a win in three games going into this fixture and part of the reason behind that was evident once more in Sao Paulo. Jo's inability to test Cassio made it difficult for the Alvinegro to capitalise on some decent chances, forged largely on the counterattack. Neither team truly had their shooting boots on as profligacy in front of goal was the order of the day. Jo was foiled once more by the keeper shortly before the break as the game remained goalless.
The pace of Emerson Sheik was causing Atletico all sorts of problems during the second half as the forward chased every long ball down. However, for all his endeavour, neither he nor Romarinho could find the target after playing an integral role in some swift breaks. The goal did eventually come in the 69th minute, but it was centre-back Paulo Andre who netted it with a well-placed header from Douglas' corner. Emerson and Leonardo Silva both saw red in the closing stages but the scoreline remained the same.
The Timao move up to 9th with an impressive three points, while and Galo remain top, level on points with Fluminense but holding a game in hand.
|Sport Recife 2-1 Santos
Sport Recife ended a run of 11 games without victory by overcoming a Neymar-less Santos 2-1 at the Ilha do Retiro.
The hosts made a blistering start as they took charge of the game inside four minutes. Former Real Madrid right-back Cicinho whipped in a tantalising cross which was met by Hugo at the back post and he squeezed a header past Rafael. The Peixe felt that their task to come back should have been made a whole lot easier just moments later when Arouca was clattered into by Cicinho, but despite it denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity the referee gave nothing.
Santos' response continued to impress but the deficit was doubled in the 37th minute as Felipe Azevedo's deflected 20-yard effort wrongfooted Rafael and flew into the back of the net. Within 15 minutes of the restart the hosts looked in danger of imploding as Andre headed in from Gerson Magrao's cross before Edcarlos was dismissed for a second bookable offence. However, Muricy Ramalho's men remained unable to level the scores and indeed they almost fell two goals behind again, only for Bruno Aguiar's missile of a free kick to hit the crossbar.
The win moves Sport up to 17th position, three points adrift of safety, while Santos sit just three points above in 13th spot.
|Figueirense 2-2 Fluminense
Fluminense failed to completely capitalise on Atletico Mineiro's slip up as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Figueirense at the Orlando Scarpelli.
Abel Braga's men came bursting out of the blocks but both Wellington Nem and Samuel failed to hit the target with two decent chances inside the opening seven minutes. Flu continued to dominate the match but for all the opportunities they created their finishing was left wanting; Samuel's shot that came back of the frame of the goal the closest they came to breaking the deadlock. With 10 minutes to go before the break the visitors could well have gone behind, but the blushes of Jean were spared after his botched attempt at a clearance came back of the post of his own goal.
Yet the Tricolor Carioca needed just two second-half minutes to go ahead as Digao headed home from Samuel's flick on. Six minutes later they netted again, this time Rafael Sobis adding the finishing touch to a fantastic in-field run and pass from Bruno. However, Fluminense showed some uncharacteristically lax defending later in the half as Aloisio found space between the static defenders to nod in after 68 minutes. Figueira pushed for an equaliser and after Aloisio incorrectly had a goal ruled out for offside, Joao Paulo levelled with a beautifully-struck free kick three minutes from time.
Fluminense missed the chance to go top, but remain level on points with Atletico Mineiro at the league's summit. Figueirense, meanwhile, remain rooted to the bottom of the table, seven points away from safety.
|Best of the Rest
Palmeiras fell to a lowly 18th with a 0-0 draw at home to Gremio, meaning the Immortal Tricolor lost ground to Vasco da Gama, who defeated Portuguesa 2-0. Sao Paulo suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Bahia, while Botafogo secured a much-needed three points by triumphing over struggling Coritiba 2-0. Cruzeiro stayed in the hunt for Copa Libertadores football by beating Nautico 3-0, while Atletico Goianiense threw away an early lead to go down 3-1 at Ponte Preta.
|Player of the Round
Though it came a lot later than was perhaps expected, Diego Forlan finally showed his class in the red of Internacional with a magnificent display in the 4-1 win over Flamengo. Questions had been raised over the Uruguayan's ability to compete at such a level but he showed he still has more than enough left in the tank against Dorival Junior's men. Two poacher's goals capped an exciting and inventive display and his relief in breaking his duck was plain to see as he celebrated those strikes.