By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Flamengo beat Atlético-MG 2-1 at the Engenhão to move further away from the relegation zone and score bragging rights over former player Ronaldinho Gaúcho. Goals from strikers Vagner Love and Liedson were sufficient on a highly charged night packed with emotion in the 27th round of the 2012 Brasileirão tournament.

Flamengo beat Atlético-MG, Brasileirão, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Vagner Love (floor) volleys Flamengo’s first goal, photo by Alexandre Vidal/Fla Imagem.

A disastrous night for Atlético, coupled with an anonymous performance from Ronaldinho, left the Minas side four points off Fluminense, who currently top the table. The Tricolor meet Flamengo this Sunday in the Fla-Flu classico.

Vagner Love’s perfectly executed volley had given Fla a half-time lead which was cancelled out by Jô’s smart turn and strike four minutes after the interval. But just seven minutes afterwards, Liedson’s excellently controlled volley put the Rio club back in front as the stadium reached fever pitch.

The game threatened to disintegrate when Atlético defender Réver was dismissed for elbowing Gonzalez in the face. The game was held up for several minutes as tempers spilled over and yellow cards were handed to players on both sides.

The subplot made no difference however to the main event. Flamengo had their moment and scored a pivotal blow over a former ally in their quest for survival.

Saturday will see fourth place Vasco face Figueirense at the São Januário, and on Sunday the Flu-Fla classico starts at 4PM, and then at 6PM the sixth place Botafogo face Bahia away.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Update is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


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