Greetings from Brazil First of all an up-date on Serie A.
As previously stated, the Brazil serie A is very competitive. This tear more than most it appears.
As of Sunday morning, the top of the table was thus.
Cruzeiro 54 pts played 31
Flumenense 53 pts played 31
Corinthians 50 pts played 31
Botafogo 48 pts played 32 played Saturday.
Santos 47 pts played 31
Internacional 47 pts played 31
So Sundays games were of interest to all concerned.
Let's look at what happened, first we'll take Cruzeiro, who were to play at home to Atletico-MG (please note there are three "Atleticos': MG/PR and GO) Atletico-MG in 17th place (relegation zone) were expected to be an easy three points for the home team.
But that was not to be the case, in a pulsating first thirty minutes, Atletico-MG looked more like the champions elect, with a first goal after just six minutes, and a second and third after 23 and 30 Mins All scored by Obina.
Five minutes later Cruzerios managed to pull one back, with Gilberto scoring. So the teams went in at half time 1-3.
The second half saw more of the same, with Atletico pushing for a fourth, which duly came after full back Rever netted,on 21 mins.
Atletico then eased off a little, perhaps tiring from there earlier efforts, and after 32 mnutes Diego Tardelli was substituted for Daniel Carvalha. this led to a slight change in tactics/formation, and a little confusion. Cruzerios were quick to take advantage, with Thiago Ribeiro immediately scoring a brace on 32 and 33 mins.
Atletico, now on the back foot, quickly re-grouped and defended well their, now slim advantage, for the last 12 mins, with the "shock of the day" result 3-4 to Atletico-MG.
So this result left the way open for Fluminense to take over at the top, but first they had the more difficult game of a visit to Atletico-PR placed 7th in the league, and no push-overs.
It proved to be an evenly fought contest, with few real clear cut chances on goal in the first half.
The second half was a more lively event, but the opening goal was a surprise own goal, by the Fluminenses' forward Washington, (who had a shocking game, and had also squandered a few earlier chances to score); being the culprit after 15 mins.
Fluminense pushed forward, but again with few clear chances of a goal, until the 34th min when Marquinho (by far their best player) fired a fierce right foot shot, from twenty five yards, to level the score.
Atletico 'tho did not lie down, and within four minutes they had regained the lead, with second half substitute, Wagner Diniz scoring.
Flumenense continued to push forward, but Atletico held firm, until that is, the 42nd min when Ivan Gonzales, a Atletico second half substitute, was adjudged to have bought down the Fluminense forward Tarta, in the area. The resultant penalty was converted by Conca. 2-2 was to be the final score.
The outcome left Fluminense in first spot on goal difference with Cruzeiro, Corinthians are now just one point behind them in 3rd, after they gained a narrow 1-0 victory over 10th placed Palmeiras.with a goak after 22 mins from Bruno Cesar, who was also voted man of the match.
So all eyes now look to Wednesday night, when Corinthians have a date with Flamengo, who remain unbeaten since the arrival of new Coach Luxemburgo.
Back later with a report on that game.