Brasileirão Week 8: Grêmio’s Gain, Róger’s Reinvigoration and Fogão Five Clear

Round eight of Brazil’s top flight saw an array of unpredictable outcomes, with the table looking remarkably tight as form and fortunes continued to fluctuate throughout the nation. Early title contenders met one another in highly anticipated showdowns, whilst strugglers traded blows in search of long-awaited wins too – it’s the most competitive major league in the world and it’s compactly covered in BTL’s Brasileirão round-up. 


A glistening serving of Sunday-night fixtures was headlined by the meeting of widely-fancied title hopefuls in Belo Horizonte as Palmeiras visited Atlético Mineiro as the only remaining unbeaten side in Série A. Abel Ferreira’s champions were agonisingly denied the lead by VAR when Rony’s wonderful bicicleta was marginally disallowed in a tense first half, which ended in the hosts edging in front through the inspiration of Cristian Pavón – but Verdão showed their typical backbone by responding with a strong second half, equalising when the outstanding Artur set up Dudu to bury his header. A fair result, and one which will probably be viewed as a good one by both clubs.  



A match which certainly will not have satisfied both clubs was another clash of titans between Corinthians and Fluminense, two clubs with starkly different atmospheres at the minute. Timão, unbelievably starting the night in the relegation zone following a tumultuous campaign thus far, had a shock in store for Flu though – led by their prodigious talisman Róger Guedes who popped up with a brace to silence the critics.


A 2-0 defeat was perhaps unjust to Fernando Diniz’s team, who arguably play the best football in the country and will remain optimistic about their aspirations, but they will need to sharpen up their finishing as 2022 Brasileirão top-scorer Germán Cano’s underwhelming league form gains increasing media scrutiny. 



It’s been nothing short of a dream start to the season for Luís Castro and Botafogo, who came into their game against América three points clear at the top having won all but one of their seven games so far. If they weren’t already in dreamland, they certainly will be now as another dominant performance with goals from wingers Luís Henrique and Júnior Santos secured a 2-0 victory and a gap increased to five points by the end of the weekend, keeping the good times rolling at Engenhão in a week in which 61-year-old Castro was interestingly linked with replacing Sean Dyche at Everton – he seems thoroughly at home in Rio though, and why wouldn’t he, with his side enjoying a sensational start to the campaign. 


After derby delight in matchday seven, Grêmio had a tough task away to Athletico made even tougher by the absence of Luis Suárez and Bitello, both on the scoresheet last week – but despite the hosts dominating the ball, it was to be another day to remember for Imortal Tricolor as Bruno Uvini’s headed winner sent them fifth, leapfrogging Paulo Turra’s men who stand out as the league’s patchiest team so far. Internacional themselves responded to the Grenal disappointment with a 2-0 win over Bahia in Porto Alegre but the result, secured by second-half strikes from Johnny and Wanderson, was a flattering representation of a game in which Inter were far from the better side against the newly promoted visitors. 


The appointment of Dorival Júnior as manager has slowly but surely turned the fortunes of São Paulo around, with an injury-time winner from David securing a 2-1 comeback win against visitors Goías, who had taken a shock early lead, sending SPFC up to third on Sunday night – the result sends Esmeraldino back into the relegation places. For Jorge Sampaoli and his star-studded Flamengo squad however, it was back to frustration after a trio of wins as the impressive Série B champions Cruzeiro held out for a 1-1 draw at the Maracanã to keep them above Mengão in the table, with Marlon’s viciously struck opener for Cabuloso probably going down as the goal of the weekend. 



Elsewhere, Red Bull Bragantino are unbeaten in five – albeit with two wins and three draws – after dispatching Santos 2-0 at Nabisão, early relegation favourites Cuiabá and Coritiba couldn’t be separated in a 1-1 draw in Mato Grosso (did Fernando Sobral mean to score his opener?) and Vasco remain without a victory since the opening matchday after slumping to a 2-0 defeat at Fortaleza, who are back in the top half with a first win in five. 



Player of the Week: Róger Guedes


So frequently a reliable goal threat from wide for Corinthians, supporters of Timão may well wonder where their team would currently be if it wasn’t for Róger Guedes. Securing a priceless three points for his side and taking his season’s goal tally for an underperforming outfit to five with the decisive brace against Fluminense, the 26-year-old’s complete attacking performance was a joy to watch and left little doubt that this is one of the very best footballers that the Brasileirão has to offer. 



Following Copa do Brasil action this midweek, Brazil’s top-flight returns next weekend with a mouth-watering derby double-header as Saturday’s Clássico Mineiro between Cruzeiro and Atlético pits Belo Horizonte’s two biggest clubs back against one another, whilst the Maracanã hosts Rio’s Clássico dos Milhões between Vasco and Flamengo in another returning classic. BTL’s round-up will have it covered!


By: Martin Crawford / @crawford7martin

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Buda Mendes / Getty Images