Things have got a bit strange at the top of Série A lately. While Corinthians and Flamengo were flying just a month or two ago, there now seems be a genuine effort among the leading clubs to mess things up royally. Not one of the top four managed a victory this weekend, and Fla slipped down to sixth in the table. Uma confusão danada, I tells ya. On with the show!
Brasileirão Gameweek 23 Round-up
Reigning champions Fluminense, who endured a difficult start to the campaign, seem to be hitting their stride. The Tricolor beat Corinthians on Sunday, a result which saw them climb to 5th. The game was settled in fortuitous fashion; Fred's free-kick took a wicked deflection before dribbling past Júlio César. Flamengo, meanwhile, succumbed to Atlético-PR, and have now gone eight games without a win. Atlético goalscorer Heracles, incidentally, shares his name with the son of Zeus, and thus wins the latest edition of Brazilian Name of the Week ©.
Botafogo's wonderful recent form was brought to an abrupt halt by Coritiba, who earnt a scarcely believable 5-0 win at the Couto Pereira. Rafinha scored the goal of the game, swapping passes with Marcos Aurélio before tapping home. "More holes than Swiss cheese," remarked the Globo commentator of Botafogo's (usually solid) defence. Grêmio, meanwhile, ensured that São Paulo wouldn't profit from their rivals' shortcomings; a second half Douglas strike gave the Tricolor Gaúcho all three points in Porto Alegre. Vasco were also frustrated away from home, drawing 1-1 with Figueirense.
At the Pacaembu, a majestic hat-trick from Leandro Damião gave Internacional a convincing win over faltering Palmeiras. Those goals - particularly the first and third - provided yet further evidence of the young striker's rising stock. Another forward in the form of his life is Borges of Santos; he took his season's tally to 16 in the Peixe's 1-0 win over Cruzeiro. Elsewhere, Atlético-MG's mini-revival continued with a comfortable victory over Bahia and both Ceará and América Mineiro were held at home.
Série A results; Santos 1-0 Cruzeiro, América-MG 2-2 Avaí, Palmeiras 0-3 Internacional, Fluminense 1-0 Corinthians, Ceará 1-1 Atlético-GO, Coritiba 5-0 Botafogo, Figueirense 1-1 Vasco, Flamengo 1-2 Atlético-PR, Grêmio 1-0 São Paulo, Atlético-MG 2-0 Bahia.
(Photo credit; Alexandre Loureiro.)