Atletico Mineiro go three clear in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO - Atletico Mineiro opened a three-point lead in the Brazilian championship when they beat Fluminense 2-1 at home on Thursday. Palmeiras, level on points with Atletico last weekend, lost 2-1 at Goias on Wednesday, while third-placed Internacional failed to take advantage when they allowed title holders Sao Paulo to recover from two goals down for a 2-2 draw. Atletico notched up their eighth win in 13 matches at the Mineirao with goals by midfielder Serginho on the hour and striker Diego Tardelli five minutes later. Substitute Kiesa pulled one back as "Flu", for whom new coach Renato Gaucho took charge in midweek, went down to their fifth consecutive defeat, leaving them one from bottom. Corinthians climbed to fourth with a 2-1 home win over Vitoria. Striker Dentinho volleyed Corinthians into the lead in the 21st minute from Ronaldo's pass and defender Jean made it two on the half hour. Apodi pulled one back before halftime when he nipped between the centre backs to chip over keeper Felipe. Corinthians meet Palmeiras in a Sao Paulo derby on Sunday. Former Sao Paulo title-winning coach Muricy Ramalho will make his Palmeiras debut having replaced the sacked Vanderlei Luxemburgo. Luxemburgo made a winning start on the Santos bench, 1-0 at home against Atletico Paranaense. Cruzeiro got their first away win in the championship, 2-0 at Santo Andre, to climb out of the bottom four. Cruzeiro announced two signings, Ecuador striker Joffre Guerron on loan from Getafe of Spain and former Tottenham Hotspur defender Gilberto.