Grêmio, Cruzeiro and Palmeiras march on
The end of round 18 of the Brasileiro saw Grêmio continue to hold their lead at the top. However, the Porto Alegre team were outplayed by bottom side Ipatinga in the estádio Olímpico. Celso Roth’s charges took all three points after a third minute goal by Colombian international Perea. The important thing for Grêmio was the win and they’ll try to put this performance behind them and focus on the visit to Atlético Mineiro on Saturday.
Cruzeiro overcame Internacional 2-0 in Belo Horizonte thanks to Gérson Magrão and an own-goal by Sorondo. See the highlights here. Adílson Batista’s team are just two points behind Grêmio. Cruzeiro take on Portuguesa on Sunday.
Palmeiras moved to third after a 3-0 win over Vitória in the Palestra Itália. Valdivia, Alex Mineiro and Sandro Silva did the damage. See the highlights here. Vitória drop to fifth.
Fluminense and São Paulo played in an embarrassingly empty estádio Maracanã. This was in stark contrast to the last time they met. 68,000 fans packed the stadium to see Flu win 3-1 in the quarter-finals of the Libertadores. On this occasion, São Paulo went ahead with Hugo three minutes into the second-period. Flu then won a very dodgy penalty, which Washington hammered home. Shortly after, the forward fired Fluminense into the lead from close range. And then grabbed his third after the São Paulo defence uncharacteristically dithered at the back.
Flamengo are down to seventh following a 2-1 loss vs Goiás. Caio junior’s team have taken just two points from the last 21 and have gone seven without a win.
Coritiba, Botafogo and Sport have started to get their act together and are slowly closing the gap on the top four. Coritiba won 2-0 at Vasco. Botafogo pulled off a 2-1 win away at Figueirense despite having Carlos Alberto red-carded early on. Sport beat Portuguesa 2-0 in Recife.
Three coaches lost their jobs. Antônio Lopes went at Vasco, Cuca at Santos and Pintado at Náutico.
See all the results and the table for round 18 of the Campeonato Brasileiro here
See Wednesday’s goals here