Thursday, 21 July 2011

Corinthians Extend Lead With Simple Win Over Botafogo; Inter Sack Falcão

Following Brazil's Copa América elimination, all eyes returned to domestic matters yesterday, as another truncated Série A gameweek came to a conclusion. Corinthians picked up a comfortable win over Botafogo, a result that sees them pull yet further away from the chasing pack. Over the weekend, meanwhile, there were good wins for Ceará and Coritiba, and a first victory of the season for Avaí. Paulo Roberto Falcão had a rather less enjoyable time; he was sacked following Internacional's mauling at the hands of São Paulo.

Brasileirão Gameweek 10 Round-up
Having chalked up eight wins in their opening nine games, Corinthians travelled to Rio full of confidence ahead of their match against Botafogo. Caio Júnior's side have been in excellent form of late, but were powerless to stop the Timão juggernaut rolling on; goals late in each half from Liédson and Paulinho ensured maximum points for the visitors. Who needs Carlos Tévez anyway?! An honourable mention, too, for Corinthians goalkeeper Júlio César, who finished the match with a broken finger. No pain, no gain, amigo. Flamengo, the team that has looked the most likely to challenge Corinthians' early league dominance, could only manage a goalless draw against Palmeiras. Figueirense and Grêmio also played out a 0-0 draw last night.

On the spot; Paulinho celebrates his goal for Corinthians.

Avaí finally picked up their first win of the season, sneaking past Atlético Goianiense at the Serra Dourada. That result leaves Atlético-PR marooned at the bottom of the table; the Furacão succumbed 2-1 to Vasco da Gama on Saturday. The Curitiba side are already eight points away from the safety of 16th position; the biggest margin after ten games since the Brasileirão adopted the round-robin format in 2003. América Mineiro, meanwhile, are only marginally better off; they were thrashed 4-0 by Ceará on Sunday evening and have just six points to their name.

At the "Alligator Arena," a brace from (Where's) Wallyson handed Cruzeiro a hard-fought victory over the delightfully inconsistent Bahia, whilst a golaço from Porto-bound Danilo set Santos on their way to a win over Atlético-MG. Reigning champions Fluminense continue to disappoint, turning in a laughable defensive display against Coritiba. The Coxa took full advantage, cruising to a comfortable 3-1 victory in front of their home fans. Flu will hope that the signings of Rafael Sobis, Manuel Lanzini, and Alejandro Martinuccio will help to turn things around at Laranjeiras.

Sacked; Falcão endured a turbulent time on the Inter bench.

Paulo Roberto Falcão paid the price for his topsy-turvy stewardship of Internacional, getting fired in the wake of the Colorado's 3-0 defeat to São Paulo. Falcão, an idol at the Beira-Rio, impressed in spells, but must surely regret coming out of managerial retirement earlier in the year; sometimes, reputations are best left unblemished. São Paulo, meanwhile, have resolved their managerial situation; Adílson Batista - who has struggled during recent spells with Corinthians, Santos, and Atlético-PR - takes over the reigns at the Morumbi. Finally, but importantly, there were still a couple of João Sorrisão celebrations lingering around the country. Note to Série A players; time for a new craze already.

Série A results; Vasco 2-1 Atlético-PR, Coritiba 3-1 Fluminense, Atlético-GO 0-1 Avaí, Santos 2-1 Atlético-MG, Internacional 0-3 São Paulo, Ceará 4-0 América-MG, Cruzeiro 2-1 Bahia, Palmeiras 0-0 Flamengo, Botafogo 0-2 Corinthians, Figueirense 0-0 Grêmio.

(Photo credits; (1) Alexandro Auler, (2) Lucas Uebel.)

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