(Reuters) – Flamengo scored twice in the second half to beat Palmeiras 3-1 on Sunday and strengthen their Serie A title chances.

Palmeiras started the day four points ahead of the reigning champions and took the lead through Wesley after 14 minutes but Michael equalised for the visitors with a header two minutes later.

Flamengo, though, dominated the second period and took all three points with goals from Pedro after 56 minutes and Michael again nine minutes from fulltime.

To complete Palmeiras’ misery, Ze Rafael was sent off in injury time.

The result lifts Flamengo into third place in Serie A, eight points behind leaders Atletico Mineiro and one behind Palmeiras but with two games in hand on both.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Toby Davis)

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