Brasileirão Week 5/6: Troubled Timão, Botafogo Finally Beaten and Athletico’s Crazy Clássico Comeback

We enjoyed 20 matches across two rounds of ultra-competitive football this week in Série A, as the top of the table tightened up amidst last-minute shake-ups and breathtaking wonder goals whilst pre-season title hopefuls remarkably fell into the relegation zone – it’s all covered in this week’s bumper Brasileirão round-up. 


It has been quite the week for Athletico Paranaense. Reinvigorated by their impressive defeat of Flamengo in round four, Paulo Turra’s men stunned Internacional in their trip to Beira-Rio in midweek with a fine 2-0 victory, courtesy of two truly delightful goals from Christian and Willian – as far as two-goal games go, you would be seriously hard-pushed to find a better pair of strikes. 



Athletico were not done there though, carrying the momentum from a couple of statement victories into the Atle-Tiba derby against struggling city rivals Coritiba. What was not expected was that they would fall behind twice in the game – in fact, the visitors looked to be on course for a priceless first win of the season as the clock ticked beyond 90 minutes. Willian would break their hearts with an equaliser, but with plenty of added time still remaining, Furucão found time for something truly special with Agustín Canobbio’s 97th-minute clincher sparking wild celebrations – a classic Clássico in Curitiba. 



Santos also produced a perfect six points from their week, propelling them to 7th in the table following a difficult start. In line with the club’s tradition, it was their academy that they had to thank – 17-year-old striker Deivid Washington marked his first Brasileirão start with a goal against Bahia at Vila before fellow wonderkid teenager Ângelo sealed the win in the second half. In their visit to Vasco at the weekend, the eye-catching Deivid struck again with a great finish for what proved to be the only goal of the game, largely thanks to a goalkeeping masterclass from João Paulo – himself an academy product – between the Santos sticks. 


Falling in their aforementioned 2-0 defeat to Athletico in Porto Alegre, Internacional were then comprehensively outplayed in their anticipated encounter with Atlético Mineiro on Saturday, Galo claiming a comfortable 2-0 victory to go with their convincing if unsurprising 4-0 triumph over lowly Cuiabá in midweek. For Inter, however, it was another uninspired performance to leave them 12th in the league table with just four goals from their first six games – the lowest total in the Brasileirão. A remarkably damning stat for the side which finished runners-up last season. 


Tiquinho Soares, the league’s current top scorer, bagged for Botafogo again in both of their games this week – a 3-0 victory over crisis-enduring Corinthians on Wednesday kept the 100% record going for Fogão, but in an unexpected twist it was not to be extended beyond this weekend as Goiás rose to what was an invaluable 2-1 victory for Esmeraldino. Corinthians, however, sensationally winless since the opening day, could not take the chance to ease their fears in their home showpiece against city rivals São Paulo, labouring to a 1-1 draw in a bad-tempered match marred by the game being paused due to homophobic chanting and exacerbating their dismal start to the campaign by falling into the relegation zone. 



Palmeiras eased past Grêmio in round five with a 4-1 home victory, leaving the free-scoring champions with no cause for concern ahead of their meeting with Bragantino this weekend. The Red Bull outfit would have other ideas though – producing an impressive performance and cancelling out Artur’s headed opener against his former side to take a deserved point, thanks to a beautifully hit 30-yard strike from Juninho Capixbaba – the goal of the weekend – claiming a fourth draw from six games for Pedro Caixinha’s side. 



The goal of the midweek round fixtures came at the Maracanã – Flamengo found their feet with a 2-0 win against Goías, and Everton Ribeiro’s absurd second-half finish was a timely reminder of the talent at Jorge Sampaoli’s disposal. A flurry of first-half action saw Mengão seal another three points on Saturday, with sought-after teenager Matheus França on the scoresheet alongside veteran defender David Luiz in a 3-2 triumph at Bahia, who finished the encounter with nine men. 



A closely-fought bout between Cruzeiro and Fluminense went the way of the title-chasing visitors on Wednesday, despite Pepa’s newly promoted Raposas creating a number of chances in an entertaining 90 minutes. The defeat would be quickly forgotten about at Mineirão though, as the team owned by Ronaldo Nazário bounced back with an emphatic 4-0 thrashing of América in yet another local face-off at the weekend, as Flu also took care of Cuiabá to ensure that both sides remained impressively placed in the league table. 


Finally, Fortaleza ensured that Palmeiras would not remain the only side still unbeaten in the league – albeit with a couple of goalless draws against São Paulo and Grêmio which saw them drop down to 8th in the league standings, a still respectable feat for the Northeastern club. Bottom-two América and Coritiba remain winless, and Vasco now sit narrowly outside the relegation zone having failed to win themselves since the opening matchday. 


Player of the Week: Deivid Washington


As far as his first two starts in senior Brazilian football go, the distinctively-named Deivid Washington has set an exceptionally high bar this week by producing some much-needed goals for his Santos side, particularly impressing with his perfectly-placed finish against Vasco on Sunday. Consistently prolific at the youth level, the 17-year-old has more than repaid the faith shown in him by head coach Odair Hellman and if early signs are anything to go by, he could become the latest young Brazilian striker to have the world of football talking as the season progresses.



Some interesting ties beckon in the Copa do Brasil this week, but the Brasileirão remains our focus as Botafogo face Fluminense in a massive Rio clássico and top-of-the-table clash, and one of Brazilian football’s greatest rivalries takes centre stage in Porto Alegre as Internacional and Grêmio face off for city bragging rights – it will all be here next week.


By: Martin Crawford / @crawford7martin

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Alexandre Schneider / Getty Images