Brazilian Serie A wrap: Epic wins for Flamengo, Sao Paulo

A Ronaldinho hat-trick has steered Flamengo to a remarkable 5-4 victory over Santos in the Brazilian Serie A on Wednesday.Santos stunned the visitors to lead 3-0 after just 26 minutes at the Estadio Urbano Caldeira, with Borges netting a brace in the opening 16 minutes, before Neymar nabbed his first.

Former AC Milan star Ronaldinho led the charge back for his club, pegging back the first goal in the 28th minute, before Thiago Neves made it 2-3 four minutes later.

Deivid capped up a stunning first half by netting the equaliser on 44 minutes to set up a tantalising second stanza, which lived up to expectations.

Neymar produced a moment of individual brilliance six minutes after the break to restore the hosts’ lead, but that only set the stage for a Ronaldinho masterclass that would ultimately win the game for Flamengo.

The former FIFA World Player of the Year levelled proceedings at 4-4 in the 68th minute, before completing his treble with an 81st minute strike.

The win moved Flamengo into third spot, just four points from the league leading Corinthians, while Santos are level with relegation-placed Bahia, but have two games in hand.

Coritiba could not mirror Flamengo’s mercurial fighting efforts, but they would have lost no supporters in their 4-3 home loss to Sao Paulo.

The visitors at Estadio Major Antonio Couto Pereira led 4-0 after 54 minutes, courtesy of goals to Carlinhos Paraiba, Juan, Dagoberto and Lucas Silva.

They also had the numerical advantage, as Coritiba’s Davi had been shown a red card when his side were trailing 3-0.

But the hosts were not to be denied that easily, as a brace from Bill as well as a Rafinha goal gave Sao Paulo some nervous final moments.

But the visiting side held on, despite also finishing with 10 men after Denilson received a straight red on 90 minutes.

The win helped Sao Paulo stay one point ahead of Flamengo in second place.

Botafogo came from a goal down to beat Avai at home 2-1, a result which keeps the losers second last on the league table.

A Felipe brace helped Atletico GO beat Cruzeiro 2-0 at home, with the victors leaping one point clear of the drop zone accordingly.

Palmeiras and Atletico Mineiro racked up 1-0 wins over Figueirense and Fluminense respectively, while Gremio were kept to a 1-1 home draw by Atletico Mineiro.