Apologies, reader, for both the lateness and brevity of this post; SKP spent the week travelling, far from his trusty laptop. Yes, I had a lovely time, thank-you for asking. Série A, however, is an unforgiving beast, sneaking in a midweek round whilst I was away. Let's see how it went.
Brasileirão Gameweek 8 Round-up
Juninho Pernambucano started for the first time since returning to Vasco da Gama, and made an immediate impact; a trademark free-kick put the Rio side ahead in their clash with Corinthians. The Timão reacted in style, however, snatching all three points thanks to goals from Ralf and Paulinho. At the Engenhão, Darío Botinelli's precise strike handed Flamengo victory over São Paulo. That result - São Paulo's third defeat on the bounce - prompted the dismissal of Tricolor coach Paulo César Carpegiani. Yep, that's the same Paulo César Carpegiani who led them to wins in their opening five games. Further proof, if any were needed, that the notion of 'job security' is an utterly vacuous one in Brazilian football.
Cruzeiro continued their revival under the stewardship of Joel Santana with a straightforward win against Grêmio. A stunning brace from Walter Montillo (who else?!) gave the Raposa their third successive victory. Fellow Belo Horizonte giants Atlético Mineiro are having a tougher time of it; they were thrashed 3-0 by Ceará at the Presidente Vargas, and are plummeting down the table at an alarming rate. Coritiba, meanwhile, seem to have weathered their early-season storm; they picked up maximum points from their game with fellow new boys Figueirense.
A late strike from young midfielder Oscar allowed Internacional to see off struggling Atlético-PR at the Beira-Rio, a result that will further ease the pressure on Colorado boss Paulo Roberto Falcão. Elsewhere, there were draws between Avaí and Bahia, Botafogo and Atlético Goianiense, and América-MG and Palmeiras. Yet again, Santos didn't feature in the gameweek; their tie against Fluminense was postponed until later in the year. The Peixe are going to have a lot of catching up to do.
Série A results; Internacional 1-0 Atlético-PR, Cruzeiro 2-0 Grêmio, Avaí 2-2 Bahia, Corinthians 2-1 Vasco, Ceará 3-0 Atlético-MG, Flamengo 1-0 São Paulo, Botafogo 1-1 Atlético-GO, Coritiba 3-0 Figueirense, América-MG 1-1 Palmeiras.
(Photo credit; Gil Leonardi.)