Fluminense win title
Fred struck two minutes from time to hand Fluminense the Brazilian championship title after a 3-2 away win over Palmeiras on Sunday. “Flu” opened an unassailable 10-point lead over Gremio, who climbed to second with a 2-1 home win over Sao Paulo while Atletico Mineiro were held 1-1 at Vasco da Gama and dropped to third. Fred led his team to their second title in three years and third overall. “It’s a mixture of happiness with emotion. The squad is marvellous, these fans follow us always,” Fred told reporters. “I thank God, the [club] board, the players, the [coaching] staff, the fans.” Palmeiras held the match at Presidente Prudente in Sao Paulo state far from their city base for fear of trouble from angry fans, who had already staged violent demonstrations as their team totters on the brink of relegation. Fred opened the scoring on the stroke of halftime, stroking the ball home from a rebound after goalkeeper Bruno parried a shot from Wellington Nem. Fluminense went two up in the 54th minute with an own-goal by Mauricio Ramos as he tried to clear a cross. Palmeiras hit back with two goals in four minutes just past the hour, the first from Hernan Barcos with the equalizer coming from Patrick Vieira. Fred volleyed the winner from Jean’s cross two minutes from the end.
Molde retain championship
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Molde retained the Norwegian title on Sunday as substitute Daniel Chukwu’s header gave them a 1-0 victory over Honefoss and Stromsgodset suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Sandnes Ulf. The victory over Honefoss gave Molde 59 points and an unassailable four-point lead over Stromsgodset with one match to play. Solskjaer said he was delighted with his side’s professionalism in defending their title. “The boys have been very focused on getting this done,” he told Norway’s TV2. As Molde struggled to break down Honefoss at home, the title race looked like it would go down to the wire when Stromsgodset took the lead through Abdisalam Ibrahim. The midfielder, on loan from Manchester City, opened the scoring after 32 minutes against Sandnes Ulf. However Stromgodset conceded second-half goals to Christian Gytkjaer and Avni Pepa, both from corners, snuffing out their title hopes. At the Aker Stadion, Solskjaer sent on Chukwu as a half-time substitute and he repaid his coach’s faith by heading home at the far post on the hour.
Lampard set for China move
Chelsea star Frank Lampard is poised to follow former teammates Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka with a lucrative move to China, after Guizhou Renhe confirmed yesterday they were in talks with him. The midfielder has been linked since March with a move to the Chinese Super League. Speculation intensified after Renhe chairman Dai Yongge was quoted on Saturday as saying that Lampard had signed. Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo played down the reports on Sunday, but a Renhe official confirmed in a statement that talks with Lampard were underway. “Yes, we are in contact with Lampard, but so far nothing has been settled,” deputy board chairman Yang Xiaoyu said. Dai was quoted by the China Daily as saying Lampard would join Renhe in January. Renhe qualified for their first AFC Champions League competition with a fourth-place finish in the league. The club is based in Guiyang in Guizhou Province. It is bankrolled by Dai, who is the boss of underground shopping center developer Renhe Commercial Holdings.