With 5 Round Left, São Paulo Looks SolidBy: Bruno Romani | November 4th, 2008
With 5 rounds for the end, Campeonato Brasileiro has a new leader. Confirming the unexpected recovery in the season, São Paulo took the first places from the hands of Grêmio, whose effort to lose this tournament has been remarkable.
In São Paulo, the home team delivered a performance of champion side to beat the alternative side of Inter. Inter chose to focus on Copa Sulamericana (besides being happy of putting an obstacle for a title of its main rival Grêmio) and was destroyed. Borges, Dagoberto and Hugo scored in the 3-0 victory. Hernanes had another good performance.
Grêmio, on the other hand, tied at home with Figueirense, a club fighting relegation. And the club almost lost, something that did not happen because goalie Victor made an important save in the final minutes. Grêmio not only lost the top of the table, but also saw Palmeiras taking the second spot.
Palmeiras played a derby in Santos against the home team. The club headed by Luxemburgo started and finished well the match with a goal in the first (Kléber) and last (Léo Lima) of action. The 2-1 has to be celebrated, as Santos played well for most of the match.
The other 2 clubs fighting for the title had a bad weekend. Cruzeiro visited Goiás and within 18 minutes it was losing by 3-0 (Paulo Baier twice and Henrique). Cruzeiro has a good side, but still too young. Flamengo played at Maracanã against Portuguesa, club fighting relegation, and just tied in 2 goals. Things could’ve even worse, as Flamengo tied through Maxi (Messi’s cousin) with just 7 minutes left
In fact, this round was the round dominated by clubs running from second division. Besides Portuguesa and Figueirense, who both had important draws playing away, Atlético-PR, Ipatinga, Naútico and Vasco won their matches.
Atlético-PR beat Sport in the very last minute of action with a goal by Rafael Moura (ex-Corinthians). Ipatinga beat Coritiba 2-0.
In Recife, Naútico beat Vitória with a goal from a penalty kick. The match was very nervous and ended with 3 red cards and 10 yellows. Again, the police in this stadium had conflicts with the visiting players. This is the stadium where Botafogo’s André Luiz was arrested on the pitch last year. I can’t believe CBF still allows matches to happen in this place, and say no for Botafogo to hold its match against Flamengo at Engenhão. (Believe, or not, CBF says that the stadium built for last year’s Pan-American games do not have conditions for the derby.).
Talking about clubs from Rio, in the derby of desperation – both clubs are fighting relegation – Vasco beat Fluminense by 1-0 (goal by right back Wagner Diniz). For Vasco, the victory not only ended with a 1 year period of no victories in derbies, but also brought Fluminense to the relegation zone. Vasco still is in the relegation zone as well, but it got closer to the other clubs. And they will fight until the end.
Boring mid-table result of the weekend: Atlético-MG 2-1 Botafogo.