Monday, 14 November 2011

Brasileirão Petrobras - Week 34

São Paulo 2-0 Avaí
Fluminense 1-2 América Mineiro
Figueirense 2-1 Atlético Mineiro
Corinthians 2-1 Atlético Paranaense
Ceará 2-3 Santos
Coritiba 2-0 Flamengo
Grêmio 2-2 Palmeiras
Vasco da Gama 2-0 Botafogo
Cruzeiro 1-0 Internacional
Atlético Goianiense 0-1 Bahia

The Avaí hangman has his hand firmly on the trap door lever after they were pushed to the brink of relegation after a 2-0 defeat to São Paulo in the Morumbi. Luís Fabiano was the hero for the home side with his first two league goals since his return from Sevilla. The first came twelve minutes after the break and the second followed eight minutes later as São Paulo continue their fight for a Libertadores spot. The Premier Sports TV Cameras were on hand to see América-MG cap a remarkable week after they followed up victory over Corinthians by stunning Fluminense in the Engenhão. Kempes put the visitors ahead seven minutes before the break and the 40,000 strong crowd were left stunned when Alessandro double the lead twelve minutes from time. Substitute Rafael Moura pulled a goal back three minutes later to set up a frantic finish but Fluminense's hopes of retaining their title were surely left shattered by this defeat. What price Figueirense for the title after they made it six wins on the spin with a come from behind victory that stopped the mini revival of Atlético-MG. After winning their last three, Atlético-MG took the lead eight minutes before the break when Werley put them ahead. Figueirense levelled seven minutes after the break through their leading scorer Wellington Nem before Julio Cesar grabbed a winner three minutes from time to leave them in a Libertadores spot.

Corinthians will go into week 35 top of the pile after a fast and furious start gave them victory over Atlético-PR at the Pacaembu. With just two minutes on the clock Paulinho, who was being watched by representatives from Milan, put the home side ahead and Emerson doubled the lead just three minutes later. Paulo Baier pulled a goal back for Atlético-PR three minutes after the break but the home side held on for a vital victory. Santos are on their best league run of the season as they continued their preparations for the FIFA Club World Cup with victory over Ceará at the Castelão. Bruno Aguair put Santos ahead with ten minutes gone but Ceará went into the break ahead thanks to a Felipe Azevedo penalty with twenty four minutes gone and thirteen minutes later Osvaldo put the relegation threatened home side ahead. A second for Bruno Aguair levelled matters six minutes after the break before Diogo got the Santos winner with an absolute stunner eighteen minutes from time. Flamengo's title challenge also seems to be over after they fell to defeat at Coritiba in front of the Premier Sports TV cameras. Two goals in the space of six first half minutes from Leonardo and a deflected effort from Maranhão were enough to make it three wins in a row for Coritiba and leave Vanderlei Luxemburgo wondering what just has gone wrong this season. Palmeiras were moments away from a first win in eight but had to settle for a point after throwing a two goal lead away at Grêmio. Cicinho put Palmeiras ahead with twenty five minutes gone and when Marcos Assunção doubled the lead on the hour they were on course to become the fourth team to take the points from the Olímpico this season. However, Brandão pulled a goal back eight minutes later before Fernando rescued a point for the Tricolor with an injury time leveller.

Arguably the biggest game of the weekend was at the São Januário where it was second v fourth in the Clássico Alvinegro between Vasco da Gama and Botafogo. After their remarkable fightback in the Sudamericana in midweek it was Vasco who vitally hit the front with a quarter of an hour gone when Fellipe Bastos struck. After his double in midweek, Dedé got the second on the hour and although Vasco were reduced to ten when Rômulo was sent off seven minutes later there was to be no revival from Botafogo who must now surely prioritise a finishing spot in a Libertadores position. Cruzeiro hauled themselves out of the relegation zone when they dented Internacional's Libertadores hopes in Sete Lagoas. Argentinian strike Ernesto Farias with the vital goal with twenty minutes on the clock. The win puts Ceará back into the relegation zone with four games to go. Finally Bahia moved seven points clear of the relegation zone at the Serra Dourada when they inflicted a fourth straight defeat for Atlético-GO. Souza got the crucial goal for the Salvador club with just ten minutes gone but twenty minutes later he was sent off alongside the home side's Gilson after the two had been swinging the handbags.

The final midweek round takes place in midweek, the two main title protagonists are both hit the road with Corinthians at Ceará, Vasco at the Pacaembu to take on Corinthians' main rival Palmeiras and a huge relegation clash in Florianópolis between Avaí and Cruzeiro. They line up like this

Fluminense x Grêmio
Internacional x Bahia
Atlético Paranaense x São Paulo
América Mineiro x Botafogo
Palmieras x Vasco da Gama
Avaí x Cruzeiro
Ceará x Corinthians
Santos x Atlético Goianiense
Flamengo x Figueirense
Atlético Mineiro x Coritiba

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