Saturday 2 July 2011

Ronaldinho Shines in Flamengo Victory; Inter Put Four Past Galo

With the Copa América imminent, Série A made another convincing plea for our continued attention this week, packing in plenty of goals and drama. Ronaldinho continued his resurgent form with an excellent display in Flamengo's win over América Mineiro, whilst there were convincing wins for Internacional and Cruzeiro. Without further ado, then...

Brasileirão Gameweek 7 Round-up
São Paulo hosted Botafogo on Wednesday night, hoping to put their hammering at the hands of Corinthians behind them. Caio Júnior's side, however, had other ideas; the visitors turned in a commanding performance to record a 2-0 victory. Recent signing Elkeson was on target once again for O Glorioso, and Herrera bagged his first of the campaign from the penalty spot. Santos also suffered an unexpected defeat; a brace from Aloísio gave Figueirense maximum points from their clash.

Up and running; Ronaldinho celebrates his first against América Mineiro.

After flattering to deceive in the early stages of the season, Ronaldinho finally appears to be finding some form; he scored twice in Flamengo's 3-2 win over América-MG. His first, a subtle free-kick from the edge of the area, was followed by a cool finish in the dying minutes. Ronaldinho's boyhood club Grêmio, meanwhile, underwent a far more difficult week; a disappointing 2-2 draw with bottom club Avaí prompted coach Renato Gaúcho to end his reign at the Olímpico. Renato, who is still worshipped by Gremistas due to his playing days at the club, may regret the day he decided to take the hotseat in the first place.

Joel Santana's Midas touch at Cruzeiro continued this week; he guided them to a superb win over Vasco da Gama. Despite being on the back foot for long periods at the São Januário, the Raposa managed three second half goals to stun their hosts. The pick of the bunch came, predictably, from Walter Montillo, who nutmegged his marker before slotting home. That result saw Cruzeiro overtake local rivals Atlético-MG in the Série A standings, as the Galo succumbed to Internacional on Thursday. The Porto Alegre side were irresistible in attack, hitting the net four times in a 25 minute spell after the interval.

Fluminense were stunned this week by the news that talismanic playmaker Darío Conca had accepted an (enormous) offer from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande. The Argentine was influential in Flu's 2010 title win, and has become a firm favourite among the Tricolor faithful. His final appearance, in the 3-1 win over Atlético-PR on Thursday, was evidently an emotional one; he will be sorely missed by all those who follow the Brazilian game.

He came, he saw... Flu fans bid farewell to Darío Conca.

Série A leaders Corinthians were far from their best in their game against an under-strength Bahia side, but came away with a narrow victory thanks to an effort from Chicão. City rivals Palmeiras also consolidated their place in the top three; débutant Maikon Leite was on target as the Verdão overcame Atlético Goianiense. (Pretty terrible week for the Atléticos, this one!) At the Couto Pereira, Coritiba picked up their second win of the campaign against Ceará. Oh, and in case you were wondering; yes, the João Sorrisão celebrations continued in ernest this week. Wibble wobble!

Saturday night saw Santos catch up on one of the matches that was postponed due to their Libertadores run. In a dire clash at the Pacaembu, the Peixe snuck a 1-0 victory over América Mineiro.

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

(Photo credits; (1) Ramon Bitencourt, (2) Paulo Sérgio.)

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