This weekend will likely be remembered as a decisive one in the 2011 season. Wins for Corinthians and Vasco da Gama saw them pull away at the summit of Série A, leaving the likes of Fluminense, Botafogo, and Flamengo (none of whom managed a win this round) to battle it out for the Libertadores places. At the bottom, Cruzeiro grabbed a valuable win over Internacional.
Brasileirão Gameweek 34 Round-up
Two goals in the opening five minutes sent Corinthians on the way to a narrow win over Atlético-PR at the Pacaembu. The hosts withstood late pressure from the Furacão, who will feel slightly hard done by. Vasco, meanwhile, picked up an impressive derby win over Botafogo on Sunday. The Gigante da Colina were inspired - not for the first team in recent weeks - by central defender Dedé, who scored his side's second and dealt well with Loco Abreu throughout. Vasco remain in second, however, having won fewer games than Corinthians (goal difference is of secondary importance in the Campeonato Brasileiro).
SKP's optimistic appraisal of Fluminense's title challenge predictably served as a kiss of death: the Tricolor fell to a disappointing loss against lowly América Mineiro. The Coelho - who, recall, beat Corinthians last week - are off the bottom of the table for the first time since July. Figueirense, another club promoted from Série B last season, are enjoying a rather more successful season: the Esquadrão de Aço ("Big Steel Squad"... beat that nickname, world) recorded their sixth consecutive win, and find themselves in fourth. Talented duo Wellington Nem and Júlio César again made the difference against Atlético Mineiro, bagging a goal apiece.
Cruzeiro picked up three much-needed points, beating Internacional in a scrappy encounter. A majestic cross from Anselmo Ramon allowed former Porto striker Ernesto Farías to nod home the only goal of the game at the Arena do Jacaré. That result spelt trouble for Ceará, who slipped into the relegation zone following a 3-2 loss to a Santos. The Peixe, who fielded a reserve side in Fortaleza, secured victory thanks to a marvellous volley from Diogo - his first goal in 17 appearances for the club. In the remaining games, there were wins for São Paulo, Coritiba and Bahia, whilst Grêmio came from two down to draw with Palmeiras.
Série A results: São Paulo 2-0 Avaí, Fluminense 1-2 América-MG, Figueirense 2-1 Atlético-MG, Corinthians 2-1 Atlético-PR, Ceará 2-3 Santos, Coritiba 2-0 Flamengo, Grêmio 2-2 Palmeiras, Vasco 2-0 Botafogo, Cruzeiro 1-0 Internacional, Atlético-GO 0-1 Bahia.
(Photo credit: Eduardo Viana.)