Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
Arena Do Grêmio, Porto Alegre, Brazil
89′ Robinho Penalty saved
Grêmio closed the gap on Campeonato Brasileiro Série A leaders Corinthians to eight points as they defeated Atlético Mineiro 2-0 at the Arena Do Grêmio in Porto Alegre and extended their unbeaten run to eight matches.
First-half goals from Pedro Rocha and Fernandinho were enough for the Porto Alegre outfit to seal a second consecutive victory for Renato Portaluppi’s side as former Manchester City and Real Madrid forward Robinho was denied a late consolation for the Galos from the penalty-spot by debutant goalkeeper Paulo Victor.
The visitors initially started well and went close in the third minute when a freekick from Valdívia forced P. Victor into a fine save, with the keeper palming the effort behind.
The hosts went ahead from the resulting-corner, which was cleared: allowing Luan to lead the counter-attack and find Everton, who sent a teasing delivery across the face of goal to the waiting Rocha, who headed home.
Three minutes later Atlético went close to levelling the scores when a Valdívia freekick was flicked-on into the path of Matheus Mancini, but he headed wide into the side-netting from a tight-angle.
In the 27th minute Grêmio doubled their lead when Fernandinho fired home the follow-up after Atlético’s Victor parried Rocha’s header from a fine Léo Moura cross.
Five minutes into the second-half the hosts very nearly made it three when Rocha latched onto a hopeful cross-field pass to fire an effort on the half-volley that struck the post via a fine save from the fingertips of Victor.
In the 62nd minute the visitors went close to pulling a goal back when substitute Robinho fired a dipping-strike just over the bar from a tight-angle.
Two minutes from time Atlético had a great chance to reduce the deficit from the penalty-spot after Bruno Rodrigo was penalised for tugging the shirt of Yago. However Robinho couldn’t capitalise and his poor spot-kick was denied by P. Victor, who tipped the weak effort over the bar.
The result meant that Grêmio closed the gap on leaders Corinthians to eight points as they moved onto 39 points, while Atlético Mineiro remained in 14th on 23 points, ahead of the rest of the weekend’s results.