Monday, 9 November 2009

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 34

Grêmio 1-1 São Paulo
Santos 3-1 Náutico
Vitória 0-1 Avaí
Sport Recife 2-3 Cruzeiro
Corinthians 2-0 Santo André
Atlético Miniero 1-3 Flamengo
Fluminense 1-0 Palmeiras
Botafogo 2-0 Coritiba
Atlético Parananese 2-0 Goiás
Barueri 1-1 Internacional

We started Round 34 last Wednesday night as São Paulo went to Fortress Grêmio looking for a win to take them above Palmeiras at the top of the table. Grêmio have only dropped 6 points at home all season, the only team not to have lost at home all season. It was going to be a huge task for São Paulo and it was even tougher when Rafael Marques put the home side ahead with just 23 minutes on the clock, São Paulo though managed to get back into the game when Marques deflected a shot from Dagoberto for the equaliser. Then the carnage of the second half that saw São Paulo finish the game with 8 men. Borges and Dagoberto went within 2 minutes of each other with 15 minutes left and then Jean saw red in injury time. The point though, was enough to keep São Paulo top as Palmeiras crashed to defeat against Fluminense in front of over 70,000 in the Maracanã. It was a third straight win for Fluminense whose winning goal came from Fred with 32 minutes on the clock but they are still 5 points adrift of safety thanks to other results.

The big clash of the weekend saw Flamengo go ahead of Atlético-MG after a stunning win in the Mineirão. Dejan Petlovic put Flamengo ahead with 9 minutes on the clock before Claudio Maldonado doubled the lead 6 minutes before the break. Ricardinho got Atlético-MG back into the game 5 minutes after half time but Adriano's 18th of the season 9 minutes from time wrapped up the points to leave Flamengo in third, 2 points off the pace. Internacional are now down in sixth and 6 points away from the lead after they came from behind take a point at Barueri. Marcio Careca put Barueri ahead with 15 minutes on the clock before Fabiano Eller levelled matters for Inter with 65 minutes on the clock. Sport Recife are all but doomed after letting a two goal lead slip against Cruzeiro, who themselves now move up into fifth. Wilson scored twice in the opening quarter of an hour to put Sport in control but Thiago Ribiero reduced the defecit in the 19th minute. Leonardo Silva then levelled before Sport were reduced to ten when Andrade was sent off. Joffre Guerron got the winner for Cruzeiro with 25 minutes to go and Sport ended up with nine when Hamilton was shown a straight red card in injury time.

Náutico remain in danger after defeat at Santos. Kléber Pereira put the home side ahead on the half hour before Naymar doubled the lead on the hour. Ailton halved the defecit eight minutes later but a second from Neymar in the last minute leaves Náutico 6 points away from safety. Santo André are in a similar position to Náutico and they didn't help their cause with a 2-0 defeat at Corinthians. Ronaldo put Corinthians ahead, his third in the last two, before Denthino doubled the lead 14 minutes from time. It's hard to see either Náutico or Santo André surviving now.

Botafogo hauled themselves level on points with Coritiba after defeating them 2-0 at the Engenhão. After tossing off the Copa Sudamericana in midweek Botafogo picked up a vital win to leave Coritiba suddenly looking over their shoulders. Renan put Botafogo ahead eight minutes before half time before Lucio Flavio made the game safe half way through the second half. Atlético-PR did their survival hopes no harm after a 2-0 win over 10 man Goiás. Marcinho put Atlético-PR ahead half way through the first half before Wallyson grabbed the second 15 minutes from time. João Paulo saw red for Goiás. Vitória are in danger of being sucked into the relegation battle after a 1-0 defeat at home to Avaí. William grabbing the only goal of the game with 12 minutes left to give Avaí the victory which ensured they will be in the top flight next season.

So 4 games to go in Brazil and again we are underway on Wednesday night when Palmeiras will be looking for the win which will send Sport to Série B and them back to the top of the league. Here is how they line up.....

Palmeiras x Sport Recife
Coritiba x Atlético Miniero
Cruzeiro x Grêmio
São Paulo x Vitória
Barueri x Botafogo
Avaí x Corinthians
Náutico x Flamengo
Fluminense x Atlético Paranaense
Goiás x Santo André
Internacional x Santos

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