Sao Paulo: Santos showed further signs of shaking off their post-Neymar depression with a 2-1 victory over Criciuma in the Campeonato Brasileiro.
Neymar spent four years with Santos and in his 103 appearances for the club scored 54 goals. He left this summer to join Spanish giants FC Barcelona for a deal worth 57 million euros,
Thiago Ribeiro and William Jose netted for the hosts before halftime while Leonardo added a late goal for Criciuma at the Vila Belmiro stadium on Sunday.
The victory was Santos` eighth of the season and lifts them to seventh, having spent the first half of the season languishing in and around the relegation zone.
"It`s a difficult competition and anything can happen," Santos coach Claudinei Oliveira said after the match.
"We are seeing the unpredictability now. It`s a competition that allows no margin for error and we know that the road ahead for us is difficult."
In other matches Sunday, Portuguesa won 1-0 away to Internacional, Bahia upset hosts Botafogo 2-1, Corinthians drew 0-0 with Cruzeiro, Goias overcame Sao Paulo 1-0, Nautico drew 0-0 with Flamengo, Atletico Paranaense beat Ponte Preta 1-0 and Atletico Mineiro defeated Vasco da Gama 2-1.