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Sao Paulo deliver reality check to champions Flamengo

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-11-02 15:01
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Sao Paulo's Diego Costa in action with Flamengo's Nathan. [Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Reigning champions Flamengo missed the chance to assume outright leadership of the Brazilian Serie A standings on Sunday, crashing to a 4-1 home defeat to Sao Paulo.

Fiorentina loanee Pedro gave the hosts an early lead before Danilo Neves, Brenner, Reinaldo and Luciano Rocha piled on the goals for Sao Paulo at the Maracana stadium.

The Rio de Janeiro outfit were left to rue poor defending and two missed penalties from Bruno Henrique and Pedro, who were denied by Tiago Volpi.

Despite the result, Flamengo remained equal on points with leaders Internacional, who lost 1-0 at Corinthians on Saturday. Sao Paulo climbed to fifth, five points off the pace.

"We weren't able to defend how we'd planned and they dominated the midfield," Flamengo full-back Felipe Luis told reporters after the match. "That made us defend too deeply and they made the most of the spaces between the lines."

Meanwhile, former Changchun Yatai forward Marinho scored for the 12th time in 16 league matches this season as Santos won 3-1 at home to Bahia.

Madson Ferreira and Jobson Souza were also on target for the hosts while Daniel Sampaio netted for Bahia.

In the northeastern city of Recife, a 53rd-minute goal from former Brazil international midfielder Thiago Neves fired Sport to a 1-0 win over Athletico Paranaense.

And in Sunday's only other fixture, Goias salvaged a 1-1 home draw against Vasco da Gama after a second-half strike from Shaylon Cardozo canceled out an early goal from Leo Matos.

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