Cruzeiro`s derby defeat allows Flu to reclaim Brazil lead

Rio de Janeiro: An Obina hat-trick in the opening half hour spurred Atletico Mineiro to a 4-3 victory over arch-rivals Cruzeiro and toppled them from the lead in the Brazilian championship on Sunday.

Fluminense reclaimed the lead on goal difference with a 2-2 draw away to Atletico Paranaense while Corinthians closed to within one point of the leaders by beating Palmeiras 1-0 in Sao Paulo in another of several derbies across Brazil.

With seven matches to go, Flu and Cruzeiro have 54 points and Corinthians 53 after ending a run of seven matches without a win.

Mineiro, who have spent all championship fighting to avoid relegation, finally managed to climb out of the drop zone with their victory in the Belo Horizonte derby while denting their city rivals` title ambitions.

Striker Obina scored three times between the seventh and 30th minutes in the derby played in Uberaba while the Mineirao in Belo Horizonte is being refurbished for the 2014 World Cup and only with fans of "home side" Cruzeiro present.

Cruzeiro pulled one back before halftime through former Tottenham Hotspur and Brazil fullback Gilberto with his first touch after coming on as a substitute.

Atletico restored their three-goal advantage through defender Rever with 20 minutes to go before striker Thiago Ribeiro scored two late goals for Cruzeiro.

Argentine midfielder Dario Conca scored an equaliser two minutes from time to give Fluminense the point which put them back in the lead they had held for a majority of the championship.

Tite made a winning start as Corinthians` third coach since July when Mano Menezes left to take charge of the Brazil team having replaced the departed Adilson Batista.

Playmaker Bruno Cesario scored the only goal of their Sao Paulo derby in the 23rd minute with a shot that took a deflection off Marcos Assuncao and left Palmeiras goalkeeper Deola with no chance.

Gremio were held 2-2 in the Porto Alegre derby after Argentina midfielder Andres d`Alessandro scored a late equaliser for South American champions Internacional.

The Rio de Janeiro derby between champions Flamengo and Vasco da Gama finished 1-1.

Bureau Report

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