The 28-year-old striker scored a marvellous goal to earn his side a win against arch-rivals Flamengo, but his former international team-mate was frustrated in Porto Alegre
Brasileiro: Round 27 Results
|Flamengo 0-1 Fluminense
The stadium was perhaps not as full as many would have hoped given the historic rivalry between the two sides, but the match that played out will certainly live long in the memory. The Rubro-Negro have had a difficult season so far but their recent improvements were evident as they gave a good account of themselves in the opening stages. The pace of Wellington Nem was causing problems for the hosts' defence though, and after Frauches cleared his lobbed effort behind for a corner, Abel Braga's men took the lead. A pinpoint cross from Deco found the talismanic Fred in the box and the striker produced a spectacular scissor kick that flew past Felipe and into the bottom corner with 18 minutes on the clock.
Flamengo responded well but Ibson was unable to make the most of two decent chances to bring them level.
Indeed, after the break they almost fell two goals behind as Thiago Neves struck the frame of the goal with a superb free kick within two minutes of the second-half. 20 minutes later he was at it again, this time rattling the bar with a fantastic effort from wide on the right. Nevertheless, Mengao pushed to restore parity but it did not come to fruition as Cleber Santana missed an eight-yard sitter before Nixon's header was turned behind by Diego Cavalieri. But Flamengo's pressure finally paid off as Diguinho brought down Wellington inside the area. Dario Botinelli took on the responsibility of the spot-kick but Cavalieri guessed right and parried the shot aside.
Vagner Love got the ball in the net moments later only to see it disallowed and any chances of a comeback were scrapped when Ramon was dismissed in stoppage time. Victory sends Flu six points clear at the summit while Flamengo remain in the bottom half in 11th.
|Gremio 1-1 Santos
Gremio failed to pick up a valuable win as 10-man Santos battled from a goal behind to take a share of the spoils at the Olimpico in a 1-1 draw.
The Imortal Tricolor looked to be mounting a title challenge but they have struggled to close out games in recent weeks, something which Muricy Ramalho's men took advantage of on Sunday. The hosts started well enough though, with Marcelo Moreno proving to be a handful for the Peixe defence. The Bolivian came desperately close to putting Vanderlei Luxemburgo's team ahead in the 17th minute but his header from Anderson Pico's cross came back off the bar. Gremio fast became the dominant side and after Gilberto Silva and Moreno both failed to convert, they eventually took the lead. With 10 minutes until the break Werley rose highest in the box and looped Ze Roberto's free kick over Rafael and into the back of the net.
Neymar had been in the wars for much of the first-half with a series of heavy challenges going in on the striker. He voiced his disappointment to the referee as it continued after the break but was only rewarded with a yellow card. Unsatisfied, Neymar lost his cool and was dismissed in the 53rd minute for a stamp on former team-mate Para.
Santos were unpeturbed in the absence of their star forward though and equalised five minutes later. Felipe Anderson's corner was knocked down to Bruno Rodrigo by Durval and the defender took one touch before firing the ball into the roof of the net from close range. Felipe Anderson had a golden chance to then win the game in stoppage-time but was brought down by Leo Gago, who was subsequently dismissed, when through on goal. The hurt was compounded when Bernardo then smashed the resulting free-kick against the bar in the last action of the game.
Gremio remain in their position but now sit nine points behind Fluminense. Santos, meanwhile, occupy 13th position, though they are level with 10th-placed Nautico on points.
|Corinthians 3-0 Sport Recife
Corinthians continued their steady ascent up the Brasileiro table with a 3-0 win over Sport Recife at the Pacaembu.
The hosts were in control from the off and almost broke the deadlock with just four minutes played, but Romarinho's shot rolled just wide of the far post after being played in down the right of the box. The former Bragantino man and Douglas failed to add a convincing end to the Timao's best moves, though when Magrao was finally tested he came out on top, denying Jose Paolo Guerrero from netting his second goal for the Sao Paulo club shortly before half-time.
However, following the restart it was a different story as Corinthians soared to victory. Once again it was Paulinho who provided the impetus, latching onto a pass from Alessandro after charging forward from deep and sweeping a fine finish past the keeper.
In the 71st minute Romarinho doubled the home side's lead when he rifled a low shot across Magrao and the 21-year-old capped a brilliant display five minutes from time, as he smashed home a rebound after the keeper had stopped Guerrero's initial effort.
Corinthians now sit in eighth position, displacing Cruzeiro, while Sport stay two points adrift of safety in 17th place.
|Portuguesa 1-1 Atletico Mineiro
Having been beaten 2-1 by Flamengo on Wednesday, Atletico Mineiro fell further away from top spot as they could only muster a 1-1 draw away to Portuguesa.
Lusa have been lingering dangerously close to the relegation zone for some time now and they may well label their failure to defeat Galo on Saturday as two points dropped. The hosts looked impressive during the early stages, though they did not come close to testing Victor until the 24th minute as Moises' curled effort from 20 yards sailed narrowly over the top of the goal.
Fourteen minutes later the keeper was forced to make a good save, and a difficult one at that, as Boquita burst through the midfield before lashing a powerful 25-yard strike at Victor's goal, but the former Gremio keeper was equal to it. The Alvinegro were all over the place and were fortunate that the referee spotted a handball in the build up to Bruno Mineiro's disallowed goal.
But it only took Geninho's men six second-half minutes to finally take the lead. A free kick from deep was looped back across goal towards Bruno Mineiro. The striker challenged Victor for the ball and it fell at the feet of Leo Silva who, despite seeing his first effort blocked by his team-mate, found the back of the net from inside the six-yard box.
Portuguesa only managed to hold the advantage for 15 minutes though, as Galo equalised when a fortunate ricochet from Ronaldinho's free kick dropped to Bernard and the forward powered home an emphatic finish past Dida at his near post.
Leonardo Silva was dismissed for the visitors 20 minutes from time but Lusa were unable to capitalise, indeed they almost lost it in the closing stages as Ronaldinho's free kick clipped the outside of the post.
Atletico Mineiro hold onto second position but are now six points adrift of the top spot that they held until recently. Portuguesa currently occupy 15th position, with a six point cushion separating them from the relegation places.
|Best of the Rest
Marcelo Oliveira masterminded his first win as Vasco da Gama coach in the 3-1 defeat of Figueirense at the Sao Januario, while fellow Copa Libertadores hopefuls Internacional and Sao Paulo could only manage draws.
The former played out a goalless draw with Cruzeiro while the Tricolor Paulista had to come from behind to take a point away from Coritiba in a 1-1 tie.
Atletico Goianiense remain rooted to the bottom of the table, with a Kieza double securing Nautico another home victory. Gilson Kleina continued his impressive start as Palmeiras boss by beating his former team, Ponte Preta, 3-0. Botafogo's hopes of Libertadores football next year took a knock as they were beaten 2-0 away to Bahia.
|Player of the Round
It was a vintage display from Juninho Pernambucano that inspired Vasco to a much-needed victory when they hosted Figueirense. The veteran midfielder was at his best on Saturday evening, bossing the game from midfield and providing astounding moments of class throughout.
Two fantastic assists brought the Gigante de Colina from behind against the struggling Florianopolis side: the first a patient and well-weighted through ball, the second an accurate cross under pressure. The former Olympique Lyonnais icon then completed a masterful performance with a rifled shot from the top of the box following a knock down from Dede. If Juninho can make such performances more consistent then the Rio de Janeiro side have every chance of taking an automatic Libertadores qualification spot.