SAO PAULO : Gabriel Barbosa scored a hat trick against his former club as Flamengo routed Santos 4-0 on Saturday in Brazil's Serie A.
Santos, which has now gone four matches without a win, held off early pressure to keep the tie scoreless at halftime.
But Barbosa erupted in the second half, icing a penalty, finishing a cross from Michael and pouncing on a rebound from Santos keeper João Paulo, whose efforts held off an even more lopsided result.
Andreas Pereira, on loan from Manchester United, scored in his debut for Flamengo with a shot through the goalkeeper's legs in the 84th minute.
The win lifts Flamengo to fourth in the league, although Bragantino has a chance to retake that position on Sunday.
Santos risk slipping to 12th place if Sao Paulo or Juventude win their tie.
(Reporting by Sao Paulo Newsroom; Editing by Daniel Wallis)