Firstly, I urge you, loyal readers, to excuse the brevity of this article; I'm halfway through moving house (it's going fine, thank-you for asking), and need to return to back-breaking labour relatively soon. With that in mind, on with midweek round-up! The Brasileirão looks to be becoming a three-horse race, as another win for Cruzeiro extended their lead over fourth-placed Internacional to six points. Fluminense confirmed that they're still the team to beat, restoring a three-point advantage over Corinthians after the latter were held by Botafogo.
Gameweek 26 Round-up
Vasco picked up a good win over Santos, beating the Peixe 3-1 at the São Januário. Fágner's smart volley put the Gigante da Colina ahead, before Felipe made it two, turning home on the rebound after his penalty was saved by Rafael. Danilo pulled one back for Santos, but Éder Luís sealed the points with a delightful individual effort. Flamengo's woes continued with a disappointing draw against Goiás. In truth, the Rubro-Negro were lucky to earn a point; Jean's amusing own goal was only cancelled out in the last minute by a low drive from Deivid.
Palmeiras derailed Inter's title push, claiming a 2-0 win at the Arena Bareuri thanks to two long-range free-kicks from Marcos Assunção. Atlético Paranaense maintained their romp up the Série A standings with a 1-0 win over Vitória. The Furacão now occupy fifth position thanks to Rhodolfo's header. Dorival Júnior is still looking for his first win as coach of Atlético Mineiro, as the his side could only stutter to a goalless draw with Ceará. The Galo (who, if you haven't been paying attention, have a squad to match any of the title contenders) need to start picking up wins sooner rather than later if they're to have a decent chance of escaping the drop.
In the São Paulo (state-but-not-city) derby, Grêmio Prudente did their survival hopes the world of good, beating Guarani 4-2 at the Prudentão. Willian put the Abelha ahead from the spot (awful decision, by the way), before Wesley smashed home a lovely brace to put Guarani in command. Wanderley's gorgeous chip levelled things up once more, and Mazola's penalty (which he won with a shameless dive) sneaked in to give Prudente the advantage once more. Reinaldo added an acrobatic fourth late on. Fluminense defeated Avaí, another team in danger of relegation, by a single goal at the Estádio da Cidadania; Darío Conca turned at the far post to keep the Tricolor at the head of the Campeonato Brasileiro.
Cruzeiro strolled to a comfortable win over Atlético Goianiense, and in doing so pulled away from Inter in fourth. Cláudio Caçapa scrambled home the opener, before Walter Montillo coolly tucked away a second. A smart finish from Wallyson rounded off the scoring. Second-placed Corinthians were held by Botafogo at the Pacaembu, a result that places yet more importance on the Timão's forthcoming game in hand. Bruno César put Corinthians ahead with a brilliant lob, only for 'Loco' Abreu to power home a trademark header to level matters. Things could have been worse for the home side, but Herrara's second half strike was wrongly ruled out by the officials.
Unpredictable Grêmio produced a stunning display at the Olímpico, beating São Paulo 4-2 on Wednesday night. A double for André Lima (the first a trademark tap-in, the second a glanced header) put the Tricolor Gaúcho in command, but São Paulo roared back into contention; a Rogério penalty and a smart finish from Marlos brought them level. It would be Grêmio, however, who would finally do enough to win; Jonas blasted home from the spot, before Diego pounced on a rare Rogério error to secure maximum points for the Porto Alegre side.
Results; Vasco 3-1 Santos, Goiás 1-1 Flamengo, Grêmio Prudente 4-2 Guarani, Atlético-PR 1-0 Vitória, Cruzeiro 3-0 Atlético-GO, Palmeiras 2-0 Internacional, Fluminense 1-0 Avaí, Grêmio 4-2 São Paulo, Corinthians 1-1 Botafogo, Ceará 0-0 Atlético Mineiro.
(Photo credit; Lancenet)