Brasileirão Round 24: Leaders march-on, Palmeiras suffer
The race for the Brasileirão title continued apace on Wednesday night with both Fluminense and Atlético Mineiro completing important victories.
Fluminense travelled to São Paulo to take on mid-table Portuguesa at the Canindé and emerged 2-0 victors thanks to late goals from full-back Jean and forward Wellington Nem - the latter fresh off the back of a first call-up to the national side.
For Atlético MG, a tough home fixture with São Paulo awaited, but Galo were greatly assisted in their task by the 28th minute dismissal of visiting right-back Douglas. The breakthrough was not quick in forthcoming, but it was striker Leonardo who eventually secured three-points in a 1-0 win for the hosts on the hour-mark.
Vasco continued their challenge for a likely Copa Libertadores qualification with a 3-1 victory, but in the process consigned Palmeiras to even deeper relegation concerns. Luan opened the scoring for the Verdão, but the Carioca side came back strong with goals from Carlos Tenorio, Nilton and Juninho Pernambucano. Palmeiras now find themselves seven points from safety, with fourteen games remaining.
To make matters worse for Palmeiras, Figueirense completed a 2-0 home victory over 10-man Cruzeiro with goals from João Paulo and Aloisio, whilst elsewhere, fellow relegation candidates Sport and Bahia shared the points at the llha do Retiro, thanks to goals from Hugo and Helder respectively.
Santos showed a glimpse of the future in a 2-0 victory over Flamengo, with goals from young starlets Victor Andrade and Neymar. The result means a run of four defeats for Dorival Junior's Rubro-Negro side and six games without a win. Meanwhile, Corinthians could only manage a 1-1 home draw with Ponte Preta after a last-minute equaliser from Emerson Sheik levelled Tiago Alves' strike for the visitor.
In Goiania, bottom placed Atlético GO continued their slide to an almost inevitable relegation with a 2-1 defeat to Coritiba. Robinho opened the scoring for the visitors, before a Patric equaliser. But, it was new signing from Flamengo Deivid who made himself an instant hero, scoring the winner after sixty minutes for his new side.