Monday 20 June 2011

Five Star Palmeiras Beat Avaí; Cuca Resigns Following Cruzeiro's Winless Start

Another slightly shorter round-up this Monday, folks, as SKP continues his dizzying battle with what experts are calling "real life." It was another exciting weekend in the Brasileirão, with nine games taking place around Brazil.

Brasileirão Gameweek 5 Round-up
São Paulo continue to set the early pace; their 2-0 win against Ceará was their fifth on the bounce. Marlos and Lucas grabbed the goals for the Tricolor, but the real star of the show was Rogério Ceni, who produced a vintage performance in goal. Hot on São Paulo's heels are Palmeiras, who obliterated the hapless Avaí at the Canindé. Star striker Kléber (who was the subject of a bid from Flamengo over the weekend) scored the goal of the game with a deft curling effort, whilst youngster Luan bagged a brace. After a slightly turbulent start to the year, things are looking up for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side.

Luan and only; the Palmeiras man celebrates his second against Avaí.

The first managerial change of the Brasileirão season has taken place, rather surprisingly, at Cruzeiro. After a 1-1 draw with local rivals América Mineiro left them in the bottom four, the Raposa announced that coach Cuca had handed in his resignation; a case of jumping before being pushed, if ever there was one. His replacement is the lovable former Botafogo boss Joel Santana. Atlético Mineiro, the division's third team from Minas Gerais, sit in fifth place after a 2-2 draw with Atlético Goianiense.

Also flying high are are Série A new boys Figueirense. The Furacão do Estreito kept their third clean sheet of the campaign, allowing them to record a simple win over Atlético Paranaense. Bahia too continue to cause quite a stir; they struck deep in injury time to overcome reigning champions Fluminense. The club's season, however, could hinge on matters off the pitch; striker Jóbson (who scored their goal on Saturday) has a hearing this week at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, regarding a previous ban for drug abuse. Any extension of his sentence would be a hammer blow for the Salvador side.

Jóbson (right) competes with Fluminense midfielder Valencia.

For a side with such attacking riches, Flamengo continue to be stultifyingly dull in local derby matches. The latest of these came on Sunday, when the Rubro-Negro yawned their way to a 0-0 draw with Botafogo. I won't bother wasting any more sleep-related wordplay on that one. At the Couto Pereira, an impressive performance from young goalkeeper Muriel allowed Internacional to salvage a point against Coritiba, whilst Vasco held Grêmio to a 1-1 draw at the Olímpico. That game, like many others this weekend, was marked by an amusing new celebration craze; players recreating the dance from the Funk do João Sorrisão. Footballers in other countries take note; wiggling round like a roly-poly toy is good for team spirit!

Série A results; Fluminense 0-1 Bahia, América-MG 1-1 Cruzeiro, Palmeiras 5-0 Avaí, Flamengo 0-0 Botafogo, Grêmio 1-1 Vasco, Figueirense 2-0 Atlético-PR, Ceará 0-2 São Paulo, Atlético-MG 2-2 Atlético-GO, Coritiba 1-1 Internacional.

(Photo credits; (1) Tom Dib, (2) Paulo Sérgio.)

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