A weekend which promised to be fiery did not fail to meet expectations in Brazil, where rivals met in Rio and São Paulo as we were treated to no less than 32 goals across all the action. After a busy midweek of cup action, the clubs’ packed schedules continued as Zago took Coritiba into Serie A action for the first time and Corinthians entered a third consecutive matchday with a different manager, following the deeply controversial ordeal that was Cuca’s extremely brief spell at the helm.
Five of the weekend’s strikes came at the Maracanã, where Flamengo met Botafogo in one of the league’s most historic clássicos before a sea of red at the national stadium. Fogão, coming into the encounter having won their opening two league fixtures, weathered an early storm from the continental champions before Tiquinho Soares got them ahead from the spot.
The best was yet to come for Luís Castro’s men as Danilo Barbosa headed in a second before the break, and a nerve-shattering second 45 saw a pair of consolations cancelled out by Tiquinho’s second – excellently set up by Tchê Tchê – as a 3-2 win ensured continued perfection from Botafogo and yet more Mengão misery.
— Botafogo F.R. (@Botafogo) April 30, 2023
The Paulista derby across in São Paulo also saw a side hold on to their lead from early on – a classy Raphael Veiga performance inspired Palmeiras to a 2-1 victory which was admittedly widely expected against a managerless and significantly wounded Corinthians. After his corner provided the assist for Murilo’s opener, Veiga fired home his side’s second on 36 minutes, allowing Verdão to see the victory though in the second period despite a Joaquín Piquerez own goal in the later stages.
Coming into the weekend joint-top with Botafogo, Fluminense were unable to maintain their perfect record as the long trip to face Fortaleza ended in a sensational upset – an emphatic performance from Juan Pablo Vojvoda’s men ensured a stunning 4-2 win, spearheaded by the magnificent brace and all-round attacking contribution of forward Moisés and leaving them second-placed in the table.
Flu boss Fernando Diniz was forced to pay the price for leaving the crucial attacking influence of Jhon Arias, Germán Cano and Ganso on the bench and his team, in the end, conceded enough chances for the scoreline to be much more damning than it was in Ceará.
— TNT Sports BR (@TNTSportsBR) April 29, 2023
Another outstanding performance came from Cruzeiro, who kept their feel-good factor going by continuing their strong return to the top flight with a convincing 3-0 win over Red Bull Bragantino, who saw right-back Aderlan sent off in the first half.
Santos also scored three in a flip-flop goal-fest at Vila, where 20-year-old striker Marcos Leonardo held his nerve to slide home the winning penalty and give a much-needed 3-2 win to Odair Hellman’s team which was harsh on an América Mineiro side which now sits rock bottom, pointless in the 2023 Brasileirão so far.
The timeless veteran goalscorer that is Hulk showed that he still has no intentions of slowing down with a sublime brace in Atlético Mineiro’s 2-1 win over Athletico Paranaense, cancelling out 18-year-old Barcelona target Vitor Roque’s well-taken injury-time consolation. Newly promoted Bahia also got a vital first victory on the board in the Monday evening fixture, inflicting a first defeat on Vasco da Gama at São Januário thanks to Thaciano’s driven opener shortly before the half-time interval.
Hulk passou como quis do Thiago Heleno.
🎥 Reprodução/GaloTV pic.twitter.com/7bqUGiMbGx
— Planeta do Futebol 🌎 (@futebol_info) April 30, 2023
Elsewhere, an outstanding volley from Carlos De Pena was enough to give unbeaten Internacional a 1-0 win at home to Goiás, Zago was denied a win by a late São Paulo equaliser in his first Brasileirão match managing Coritiba and Cuiabá also remain without a win after Grêmio ran out 2-1 winners in a competitive encounter at Arena Pantanal.
Player of the Week: Moisés
An underrated goalscorer in Brazilian football for a while now, Fortaleza’s Moisés has exploded back into goalscoring form in the new season and his performance against Fluminense was nothing short of special. Destroying a team fancied by many as title hopefuls, his first sensational first goal goes down as the best of the weekend and has the nation talking about his Jamie Vardy-esque rags-to-riches story. He of course was not without competition for the weekly accolade, with the vintage Hulk masterclass in Belo Horizonte and derby heroics of Tiquinho Soares undoubtedly worthy of honourable mentions.
Em 2018, com 21 anos, Moisés se dividia entre jogar na várzea, montar móveis e descarregar caminhões. Em 2019 estava na segunda divisão catarinense.
Agora tá fazendo golaço e decidindo na Série A pelo Fortaleza. pic.twitter.com/xwpEXzXuK7
— Última Divisão (@ultimadivisao) April 30, 2023
After midweek Libertadores action, the most competitive top-flight in the world returns next weekend with a tasty card of weekend fixtures, headlined by the 389th instalment of the Clássico dos Gigantes between Fluminense and Vasco at the Maracanã on Saturday.
By: Martin Crawford / @crawford7martin
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Marcelo Endelli / Getty Images