Friday, 18 November 2011

Brasileirão Petrobras - Week 35

Fluminense 5-4 Grêmio
Internacional 1-0 Bahia
Atlético Paranaense 1-0 São Paulo
América Mineiro 2-1 Botafogo
Palmieras 1-1 Vasco da Gama
Avaí 0-0 Cruzeiro
Ceará 0-1 Corinthians
Santos 1-1 Atlético Goianiense
Flamengo 0-0 Figueirense
Atlético Mineiro 2-1 Coritiba

Four games left as the race for the title, Libertadores spots and avoiding relegation hots up in the Brasileirão. The week opened at the Engenhão as Fluminense kept their slim title hopes alive with victory over Grêmio in a crazy game. Rafael Marques put Grêmio ahead with seventeen minutes gone but Fred levelled for Flu eight minutes later but the visitors went into the break ahead when Marquinhos struck on the stroke of half time. A second for Fred eight minutes after the break levelled matters again and the home side took the lead just after the hour when Rafael Sóbis got his tenth of the season. After a crazy two minutes spell it looked like Flu's title dream was over when first Brandão and then Adílson had Grêmio ahead with just fourteen minutes to go. However Fred converted from the spot to level the match with twelve minutes to go and then the former Lyon man won it with his fourth of the game nine minutes from time. Brandão was then sent off two minutes later and the home fans had to endure an agonising six added minutes before the three points were in the bag. Internacional remain in Libertadores contention after a ninth minute Gilberto goal was enough to see them home against Bahia at the Beira-Rio. The visitors are still not safe from the drop after this result but another victory should guarantee them top flight football next season. Atlético-PR's battle against the drop continued as they defeated a São Paulo side that will now be lucky to bring Libertadores football to the Morumbi next year. A tenth minutes strike from Ecuadorian strike Joffre Guerrón, only his fifth goal of the season, was enough to give Atlético-PR a valuable victory.

If you're going to bottom of the table for most of the year and you're going to go on a three game winning run, who better than Corinthians, Fluminense and now Botafogo as your victims as América-MG ended the Alvinegro's title hopes in Sete Lagoas last night. When Kempes put América-MG ahead from the spot, his 12th of the season, ten minutes before the break Botafogo were on thin ice and when Fábio Júnior made it two five minutes later the cracks began to appear. Sebastian Abreu got Botafogo back in the game just after the hour and when Gilson got sent off just after the visitors had a man advantage. But they couldn't make it count and now have a fight on their hands for a Libertadores spot, which they will do without Caio Júnior who was shown the door on the teams return to Rio de Janeiro. The title race took a turn when Palmeiras did hated rivals Corinthians a favour by holding Vasco da Gama at the Pacaembu. Vasco made the perfect start to the game when Dedé scored for the third game in succession with just four minutes on the clock. Now you would have expected the Palmerias fans to be happy with that, but Felipão is under huge pressure at the moment and the Big Green are in danger of the drop and they levelled eighteen minutes after the break when Luan got his ninth of the season. Avaí's three year stay in the top flight is as good as over when they were held to a goal less draw by fellow strugglers Cruzeiro at the Ressacada. The point leaves Avaí eight points short of safety now with just nine to play for. Cruzeiro remain a point ahead of safety but finished the game with ten men after Naldo was sent off five minutes from time. Vasco's draw was Corinthians gain as the Muskateers secured a vital draw at the Castelão against Ceará. The Peruvian substitute Luís Ramírez with the vital goal nine minutes from time to leave Corinthians two points clear at the top of the table. Ceará, who remain deep in relegation trouble, had Fabrício sent off after a second yellow card five minutes from time.

Where as Wednesday has produced goals galore it was a different story on Thursday night with only one game seeing a positive result. Santos left it late at the Vila to claim a point against an Atlético-GO side which is still not quite safe from the drop yet. Atlético-GO took the lead nine minutes before the break when Leonardo gave them the lead but the suffered a blow on the hour when Agenor was sent off. Cue the charge from the home side as they searched for the goal to get them back on level terms and it eventually came in the fifth minute of added time as Paulo Henrique Ganso claimed his second goal of the season to rescue a point. No goals at the Engenhão as Figuerense's six game winning run was ended by a Flamengo side who's own title challenge was all but ended. Ronaldinho Gáucho took the brunt of the Flamengo fans abuse but Figueirense blew a great chance to win the game when substitute Aloisio missed from the spot on the hour. The result also ends Figueirense's title hopes but they will still have a big say on where the crown ends up. Finally Atlético-MG moved five points clear of the relegation zone when they made it five wins out of the last seven games when they defeated Coritiba in Sete Lagoas. Neto Berola put Atlético-MG ahead with twenty minutes gone but they had to wait until ten minutes from time before Leonardo Silva grabbed the crucial second. Coritiba pulled a goal back through Bill's 12th of the season two minutes from time but Atlético-MG held on the claim the win and got one win away from safety.

Only three weeks left to go and the two title challengers are both at home this weekend.

São Paulo x América Mineiro
Vasco da Gama x Avaí - Coverage on Premier Sports TV
Grêmio x Ceará
Corinthians x Atlético Mineiro - Coverage on Premier Sports TV
Botafogo x Internacional
Cruzeiro x Atlético Paranaense
Atlético Goianiense x Flamengo
Figueirense x Fluminense
Coritiba x Santos
Bahia x Palmeiras

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