Santos fall out of top four after embarrassing away defeat

Santos fall out of top four after embarrassing away defeat

Santos suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat away to Liga MX strugglers Necaxa on Saturday, slipping out of the top four in the process.

It was a disastrous outing for El Peixe, who never looked capable of getting back into the match after going behind early on.

Felipe Baloy, Jesus Isijara, Luis Madrigal and Rogelio Funes Mori all found the net for Necaxa, as Santos slumped to their fourth consecutive league defeat.

The loss drops them down to fifth in the standings, trailing fourth-placed Leon by four points with just six matches remaining in the season.

With a Copa Libertadores semi-final against Boca Juniors looming, it was an important match for Santos to win, but they failed miserably.

Manager Levir Culpi now faces some difficult decisions in the coming weeks as he looks to get his side back on track ahead of what could be a make-or-break tie against Boca.

Palmeiras take advantage to move into Champions League qualification spot

Corinthians stumble in São Paulo derby

Sunday’s match between Palmeiras and Corinthians was a tale of two contrasting halves. The first half saw Palmeiras dominate and take the lead, while the second half belonged to Corinthians who equalized and looked to have taken all three points. However, in the dying minutes of the game, Palmeiras were handed a penalty which substitute striker Deyverson dispatched coolly. This result sees Palmeiras overtake Corinthians on goal difference and move into fourth spot in the Brasileirão, qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

The first chance of the game fell to Palmeiras as they hit the crossbar early on through former Barcelona player Lucas Lima. The home side continued to pile on the pressure and duly took the lead through Dudu in the 22nd minute. Dudu capitalized on some poor defending by Corinthians to slot home from close range. The away side improved slightly after going behind, but were unable to create any clear-cut chances. As a result, Palmeiras went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

The second half was a different story altogether, as Corinthians took control of proceedings. They drew level in the 70th minute through Jadson’s powerful strike from outside the box. The rest of the game belonged to Corinthians who looked set to take all three points until Deyverson was brought down in the area late on. This gave Palmeiras a penalty which Deyverson duly converted to give his side all three points.

This win sees Palmeiras overtake Corinthian on goal difference and claim fourth spot in Serie A, qualifying for next season’s Champions League in the process.

Reds falter in six-goal thriller against Cruzeiro

The Brazilian Serie A title race took another twist on Wednesday night, as league leaders Cruzeiro conceded a late equaliser to draw 3-3 with second-placed Sao Paulo in Belo Horizonte.

Reds fans were given hope of a first victory at the Mineirao Stadium since 2010 when Brazil and Barcelona striker Neymar opened the scoring after just four minutes. However, goals from Wellington Paulista, Ricardo Goulart and Willian brought Cruzeiro back into the match, before former Liverpool midfielder Lucas speeding into the hosts’ penalty area and beating goalkeeper Filipe to score what looked like being the decisive goal with 15 minutes remaining.

But veteran defender Henrique was judged to have fouled Sao Paulo striker Alexandre Pato inside the area in the last minute of regulation time, and the former AC Milan forward stepped up to convert the resulting penalty, salvaging a point for his side and ensuring that Cruzeiro’s lead at the top of the table remains at just two points.

Elsewhere on Wednesday night, third-placed Palmeiras won 3-1 away at Goias, while fourth-placed Atletico Mineiro could only manage a 1-1 home draw with Sport Recife. Botafogo moved up to fifth place with a 2-1 win away at Bahia,; Fluminense slipped to sixth after losing 2-1 at home against lowly Vitoria; and relegation strugglers Nautico scored two late goals to beat Criciuma 3-2. Corinthians – who are currently in seventh place – have games in hand on all of their rivals and will be looking to close the gap when they host Chapecoense this weekend.

Botafogo secure safety with final day victory over Gremio

Last Saturday’s win secured Botafogo a place in the Brazilian Série A next season with one round of fixtures to spare.

The victory over Gremio, away from home, was an important one for Jair Ventura’s side as they aim to seal their spot in the country’s top flight for another year.

And it was an emphatic one, too, with Botafogo running out 3-0 winners against their opponents at the Arena do Grêmio.

Two goals in the first half - from Matheus Fernandes and Rodrigo Pimpão - gave the visitors a commanding lead, before Pimpão got his second of the day in second-half stoppage time to seal all three points.

It was an impressive display from Botafogo and one that gives them plenty of confidence as they head into their final game of the season this weekend - against Atlético Mineiro, at home.

Victory in that fixture would see them achieve back-to-back promotions and return to Brazil’s top division after a two-year absence.

Flamengo crowned champions for first time since 2009

2018 Brazilian Série A champions Flamengo have finally ended their trophy drought, which stretched back to 2009. The finals victory over Cruzeiro was a fitting end to an impressive season for the club, which also saw them reach the Copa Libertadores semi-finals.

Since being bought by Artur Jorge in 2003, Flamengo had gone trophyless, but this season they have finally put that right. Led by star player and captain Diego Costa, they have been one of the most impressive teams in Brazil this year.

The title win was confirmed with a 3-1 victory over Cruzeiro at the Maracanã Stadium in front of a capacity crowd. Goals from Diego, Éverton and Lucas Paquetá secured the victory for Flamengo and gave them their first championship since 2009.

It was a deserved victory for Flamengo, who were the best team in Brazil this season. They scored more goals (71) and conceded fewer (27) than any other team, and also had the best attacking and defensive records in the division.

The title win is a huge boost for Flamengo, who will be looking to dominate Brazilian football in coming years. With Costa continuing to lead the charge, they will be confident of challenging for more titles in 2019 and beyond.