Top three held in Brasileiro – alarm bells start to ring for Flamengo
Fluminense, Corinthians and Cruzeiro all drew at the weekend in round 27 of the Campeonato Brasileiro. Flu were held 1-1 by bottom club Grêmio Prudente. Corinthians came from two goals down to draw with Ceará. And Cruzeiro and Atlético Paranaense finished scoreless. Atlético then lost their coach Paulo César Carpegiani who signed for São Paulo on Sunday.
Internacional were the only side to win in the top seven after beating Guarani 3-0.
In the big Rio derby, Botafogo and Flamengo drew 1 a-piece. Only 13,000 showed up at the Engenhão for what was an important game for both teams. Botafogo needed the points to keep their faint hopes of Libertadores qualification alive. Current champions Flamengo have now taken just ten points from their last thirteen games and are edging ever closer to the drop zone. Late last week, Zico jumped the sinking ship after just four months as director of football. Coach Silas is expected to get the chop with Vanderlei Luxemburgo lined up as the replacement. In 2009, Fluminense survived the drop with 46 points. Fla are currently on 30 points and have eleven games to match Flu’s total of last season. Even though they have some tricky fixtures, the Rubro Negro’s destiny remains in their hands. Fla have direct confrontations with other relegation candidates Atlético Goianiense (H), Avaí (A), (two ‘must win’ games) Vasco (A), Ceará (A), Atlético Mineiro (A), Guarani (H) but also have tough matches against Inter (H), Corinthians (H), Atlético Paranaense (H), Cruzeiro (H) and on the final day Santos (A). Watch the Botafogo x Flamengo highlights.
The other big derby saw Santos and Palmeiras cross swords in the Vila Belmiro. Again the match ended in stalemate. Kleber struck first for the Greens. An Alan Patrick shot was deflected in off Danilo for the equalizer. Watch the highlights.
In the ‘six-pointer’ at the bottom of the table, Atlético Mineiro came out on top in a five goal thriller away to Atlético Goianiense. Ricardo Bueno’s injury time strike gave Dorival Júnior his first win in charge of Galo and kept their hopes of escaping relegation alive.