Brasileirão Week 14: Santos’ Stunning Spectacle, Guedes’ Golden Goal and Fogão Find a Way

There is absolutely no shortage of stories at the moment in the most competitive top-flight in the world. In a week of big-name clashes, more managerial appointments and even more transfers, the Brasileirão has been at its entertaining best as first met second in Porto Alegre and Flamengo visited Palmeiras in a meeting of the two clubs who have shared the last four Copa Libertadores – those just two of many interesting areas of action over a loaded weekend. 


Arena do Grêmio was always going to be the centre of attention for the matchweek as free-scoring Tricolor hosted surprise runaway league leaders Botafogo, with the visitors having spent most of the week managerless before confirming the imminent arrival of former Benfica and Wolves boss Bruno Lage to replace Luis Castro.


Still under the interim leadership of Claudio Caçapa, Fogão were well on the back foot in the early stages despite having an opener ruled out by VAR – but as they somehow protected their clean sheet in an enthralling second-half, timeless midfielder Eduardo fired home a priceless opening goal to devastate a buoyant home crowd. Young forward Carlos Alberto would add a second in the 88th minute, as the leaders showed immense backbone in a colossal, backs-to-the-wall win. 



The showpiece in Porto Alegre was a fantastic watch, but in a lesser-anticipated encounter at Vila Belmiro earlier on Sunday there would be a match that had it all. Winless since taking charge of Santos, Paolo Turra would have been delighted with how his side raced into a 2-0 lead over struggling visitors Goiás with a quick-fire double from 20-year-old striker Marcos Leonardo, and even more so when Stiven Mendoza raced through to get a third before half-time after a Guilherme penalty had halved the deficit.


The Esmeraldino midfielder produced a magnificent strike for his brace to reduce the deficit again on the hour mark before the equalising sixth goal of the thriller was headed in by substitute João Magno. There would be a winner though – a controversial late decision gave Santos a penalty, and Mendoza became the third man on the pitch with a brace with the seventh goal in a contender for game of the year so far. 



As the two most successful and competitive clubs in Brazil in recent years, Palmeiras and Flamengo would both have entered the 2023 Série A campaign targeting the title, but they entered their long-awaited matchday 14 meeting both more than ten points adrift of the top. Active in the transfer window following the arrivals of Allan, Luiz Araújo and Agustin Rossi, Jorge Sampaoli’s visitors were second-best in the first half and Verdão’s dominance was rewarded by an opener from winger Dudu.


Abel Ferreira’s Brasileirão holders were hoping to avoid a repeat of last week when they blew a half-time lead at Athletico, but in a noticeably different second period, they would let it slip again with five minutes remaining when Uruguay star Giorgian De Arrascaeta was picked out by fellow substitute Everton Ribeiro to equalise with a diving header – earning a point which takes Flamengo up to second. 



Fluminense boss Fernando Diniz was announced as the interim Brazil manager last week, and as he began life balancing club and international duties, a high-profile meeting with Internacional at the Maracanã was his first challenge. It very quickly looked like an easy one though as Flu raced into a 2-0 lead, and that would be how it finished – last year’s Brasileirão top scorer Germán Cano and Matheus Martinelli were the scorers.


Imminent Barcelona signing Vitor Roque was absent from Athletico Paranense’s squad on their long trip to face Fortaleza, and it was to be an unsuccessful one for managerless visitors as Yago Pikachu came off the bench to continue the feel-good Fortaleza factor with an 84th-minute winner which gave Juan Pablo Vojvoda’s overachievers a third win in four. 


Surprise strugglers Corinthians had just one win in five going into the matchweek, so a trip to face 2021 Brasileirão champions Atlético Mineiro was not a welcome one – but despite giving up lots of the ball in Belo Horizonte, it was to be a well-executed game plan from the visitors who, courtesy of a sublime goal from star man Roger Guedes, grounded out a priceless 1-0 victory to shift the misery onto the hosts who have now themselves have gone five without a league win.


A meeting of newly-promoted sides Vasco and Cruzeiro in Rio would also be decided by a stunner – but Filipe Machado’s free-kick for Cabuloso was even better, catching Léo Jardim out as it bent beyond him from a narrow angle for a goal worthy of winning any match, just pipping Guilherme to Goal of the Weekend.



Elsewhere, high-flying Red Bull Bragantino had chances hosting São Paulo but their unbeaten run was still extended to five in a goalless draw, Bahia fought back to seal a 1-1 result at Cuiabá but now sit just one place above the relegation zone following Corinthians’ win and despite taking the lead, bottom side América were still soundly defeated by Coritiba for whom a 3-1 victory was just a second three points of the season. 


Player of the Week: Lucas Perri


Rarely is a goalkeeper noted as one of the primary figures for a team on a compelling title push, but Botafogo’s Lucas Perri has started the season on outrageously good form – his all-important clean sheet at Arena do Grêmio on Sunday was not the first time he has single-handedly won points for his side this campaign. The 25-year-old, who spent time on loan at Crystal Palace in 2019, produced an outstanding second-half save which was a pivotal moment in yet another statement victory for Fogão, who are capturing the attention of the continent with their unstoppable form. 



Next weekend’s Fla-Flu clássico will be the centre of attention, as a fascinating clash of styles in the dugout beckons in a meeting of two of the pre-season title favourites. Catch up on everything you need to know again on next week’s Brasileirão round-up on BTL.


By: Martin Crawford / @crawford7martin

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Anadolu Agency