With a rotated squad, Atlético Mineiro defeated Caldense at the Ronaldão Stadium on Saturday.
Atlético-MG traveled to Poços de Caldas to face Caldense in a physical match with implications for the top of the Campeonato Mineiro.
Despite shuffling his squad considerably, Levir Culpi’s team started the match on the front foot. Leonardo Silva opened the scoring in just the fifth minute off a corner kick from the far side.
Atlético’s centre back headed in a rebound after goalkeeper Omar saved an olímpico attempt off the line.
🏟️ Caldense 0 x 1 Atlético
⚽ Leonardo Silva pic.twitter.com/sJYnSAIbTs
— GOLS GALO NEWS (@GolsGaloNews) February 9, 2019
In a touching moment, the Galo captain honored the youth players of Flamengo.
— globoesportecom (@globoesportecom) February 9, 2019
The home team nearly forced an equaliser in the 27th minute as Carlinhos got free into the area. While his finish left something to be desired for Caldense fans, it was enough to make Atlético nervous.
After half-time the match grew even more physical and was marred by two expulsions. In the 60th minute, 24-year-old midfielder Jair earned his second booking of the game.
Caldense’s numerical superiority lasted less than five minutes, however, as Carlinhos was shown a straight red card for a hard foul on centre back Iago Maidana in the 64th minute.
Aside from Jair and Carlinhos, three players on each team were also booked in the hard-fought contest.
With the win Atlético-MG took the lead at the top of the Campeonato Mineiro table with 13 points after 6 matches. Second-placed América-MG can retake the top spot with a win in their matchday six game.
On the flip-side, Caldense remain one of several teams without a win in the state tournament. The Veterana sit on four points after six match in the Campeonato Mineiro.