VANDERLEI Luxemburgo faces increased pressure to hold onto his job after Flamengo were beaten by relegation battling Atlético Paranaense on Sunday.
Flamengo fell to their fourth consecutive defeat against at the hands Atlético as hopes of challenging for the Brasileirão title continued to fade.
Rookie Atlético midfielder Heracles found his way unmarked into the box to score his first goal in senior football, as Atlético took the lead shortly before half-time. A minute after the break, Ecuadorian Joffre Guerrón added a second goal for the struggling Curitiba club, leaving Fla to huff and puff to find their way back into the game, against an Atlético side who were forced to play the last 15 minutes with ten men after Guerrón picked up his second yellow.
Central defender Welinton, one of the main target’s for Flamengo fans frustrations, managed to pull a goal back late on but it was not to be enough, leaving Fla with just one win from five matches.
Just weeks after the club were vying with Corinthians for first place in the Brasileirão, Flamengo’s latest defeat leaves them sixth in the table, with one from their last five matches (their worst run of form since 2006) and significantly, below all three of their Rio de Janeiro rivals – Vasco, Botafogo and Fluminense.
Despite the setback, Luxemburgo received the backing of club president Patricía Amorim who told Globo, “I like the work of Vanderlei a lot. We have to be close in good times and bad times. Let’s go through this difficulty all together.”
But the presidents resolve will be severely tested should Flamengo fall to a fifth straight defeat at the hands of Botafogo next weekend, which would surely end the coach’s eleven month tenure at the Rio giants.