Cruzeiro 1-2 Palmeiras
The Big Green moved three points clear at the top of the table after a come from behind victory at the Mineirão. These two teams share a long history, both used to go by the same name at one time, Palestra Italia, but were forced to change by the Brazilian government in 1942 and adapted their current names. The Italian links still run strong win both clubs, Cruzeiro of course sport the colours of the Italian National Team and Palmeiras colours share those of the Italian flag.
Anyhoo, onto business. Palmeiras had been pegged back at the top of the table by São Paulo so a win was vital as they looked to get some daylight. They couldn't have had a worse start though, a flick on finding Thiago Ribiero unmarked and stroked the ball past Marcos for the opening goal of the night with just seven minutes on the clock. The lead lasted barely two minutes, Wagner Love was brought down and Diego Souza rifled home the resultant free kick form 25 years out. The teams went in level at half time, thanks only to great saves from Fabio in the home goal and Marcos in the visitors goal. Marcos was then beaten by a shot from Fabricio but was glad to see the ball hit the side netting.
Palmeiras struck the crucial goal 5 minutes into the second half, a ball from Cleiton Xavier splitting the Cruzeiro defence and Wagner Love collected and took the ball round Fabio to score his second goal since returning from CSKA Moskva. Palmeiras then suffered a huge blow as Colombian Pablo Armero was sent off two minutes later for a second bookable offence, he almost conceded a penalty with the challenge as well. Cruzeiro smelled blood and went for Palmeiras, Kléber was denied by Marcos and the post and then Leonardo Silva put a header just wide but the Big Green held on to move clear at the top of the table.
Week 26 this weekend and all games take place on Saturday or Sunday. The big game is at the Morumbi, where the "Majestoso" derby takes place. They line up as follows
Palmeiras x Atlético Paranaense
Fluminense x Avaí
São Paulo x Corinthians
Barueri x Cruzeiro
Internacional x Flamengo
Coritiba x Náutico
Goiás x Grêmio
Sport Recife x Santo André
Atlético Miniero x Santos
Botafogo x Vitória