Fluminense win derby
Brazil international striker Fred scored with an early volley to give Fluminense a 1-0 win over Flamengo and put them six points clear at the top of the Brazilian championship on Sunday. Fred struck in the 18th minute of the “Fla-Flu” derby at the Engenhao from a cross by former Barcelona, Chelsea and Portugal midfielder Deco and then withstood the attacks of opponents who enjoyed more possession and chances on goal. Fluminense, who have won 17 of their 27 matches, lead on 59 points with 11 matches to go after their closest challengers Atletico Mineiro were held 1-1 away by lowly Portuguesa on Saturday. Fred’s team needed some strong goalkeeping from Diego Cavalieri to keep the three points, including a penalty save from Argentine substitute midfielder Dario Bottinelli three minutes from time. Flamengo had fullback Ramon sent off in stoppage-time for a second booking after a foul on Marcos Junior. “We had good chances to equalize and even turn the game around, but sadly we didn’t score in the first half and conceded one. Flamengo deserved at least a draw, that would have been fair,” striker Wagner Love told reporters.
PSV hit VVV-Venlo for six
Debutant Juergen Locadia and Dries Mertens both scored hat-tricks to inspire PSV Eindhoven to a 6-0 win against 10-man VVV-Venlo on Sunday to close in on leaders Twente. Belgian international Mertens opened the scoring midway through the first half with a well-placed drive from distance and doubled the lead 10 minutes before the break with a superb volley. The hosts’ Uche Nwofor was sent off after 65 minutes for a second booking after which PSV scored four more, with Mertens grabbing his third and 18-year-old Locadia scoring three times in 11 minutes on his league debut for PSV. PSV climbed to third with 15 points, three behind Twente, who suffered a 1-0 defeat at Ajax on Saturday. US international Jozy Altidore scored his eighth league goal of the season for midtable AZ in an enthralling 3-3 draw against RKC Waalwijk. Waalwijk came from behind twice and took the lead through Henrico Drost early in the second half, before Adam Maher salvaged a point for AZ with four minutes remaining. Michael de Leeuw scored a hat-trick for Groningen in a 3-2 win over Roda JC Kerkrade, while struggling PEC Zwolle, who began the day bottom of the table, beat Willem II Tilburg 1-0 to clinch their first win of the season.
Olympiakos set the pace
Olympiakos Pireaus continue to set the pace in the Greek Super League after securing a hard-earned 1-0 win at Atromitos, as Panathinaikos’ struggles continued with a 0-0 draw and AEK parted company with coach Vangelis Vlachos. Leonardo Jardim’s Olympiakos made it five wins from five courtesy of Spanish midfielder David Fuster’s first-half goal on Saturday, keeping them three points ahead of Panionios, who defeated AEK 1-0 on Sunday thanks to a 16th-minute strike by Leonidas Kabantais. That result spelled the end of Vlachos’ tenure at AEK.
Academica claim first win
Academica won 2-0 at CS Maritimo on Sunday for their first league win of the season after four straight draws. Striker Wilson Eduardo opened for Academica 11 minutes in with an individual effort to beat Maritimo goalkeeper Romain Salin. Mario “Marinho” Correia then doubled the advantage two minutes before halftime when he dribbled through the defense and fired home.