Palmeiras thrash Santos to maintain perfect start

RIO DE JANEIRO - Palmeiras won their seventh straight game of the 2009 season by thrashing Santos 4-1 in the Paulista championship on Sunday.

Forward Keirrison scored twice, the first from a penalty, after former Barcelona midfielder Edmilson had opened the scoring in the 15th minute for Vanderlei Luxemburgo's team.

Kleber Pereira pulled one back for Santos but Lenny added a fourth for Palmeiras in the 85th minute.

Palmeiras lead the Paulista, the largest of the regional championships which start the Brazilian season, with a maximum 15 points from five games. They have also won both games in the South American Libertadores Cup.

Brazilian champions Sao Paulo won 2-1 at Botafogo-Ribeirao Preto.

Midfielder Hernanes fired Sao Paulo ahead in the 28th minute and Washington scored a 61st minute winner after Branquinho had levelled early in the second half.

Hernanes was sent off in injury-time for a second bookable offence.