By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Grêmio last night at the Engenhão Stadium in the second round of the 2013 Copa Libertadores. Argentine striker Barcos scored one and was involved in the other two as the Gaúcho club ran riot in Rio.
The defeat leaves Fluminense bottom of Group 8 with three points from two games. Anyone expecting an even duel was sadly mistaken as the visitors dominated their hosts from first whistle to last.
The tone for the game was set with the opening action. Souza headed narrowly over the bar as Flu’s defense looked worryingly exposed.
In the thirteenth minute Wellington Nem took a tumble under a hefty challenge from Grêmio defender Cris. The Tiroclores were howling for a penalty but the referee waved play on.
It was to prove Flu’s best chance on a miserable night. On 32 minutes, Barcos glanced Grêmio into the lead from an inswinging corner with what looked like his hand.
Abel Braga introduced Deco for the second half but the former Barcelona playmaker had little influence on proceedings. Just before the hour mark André Santos doubled the visitors’ lead from close range, knocking the stuffing out of Flu.
Thiago Neves and Samuel entered the fray yet the Gremista dominance never halted. On seventy minutes Vargas made sure of the result with a venomous drive across Cavalieri.
Next Wednesday, Fluminense will be forced to pick themselves up as they travel to Chile to face Huachipato. After such a dreaful performance at home three points are needed to give the side a major confidence boost in their quest for a first ever Libertadores title.
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