Santos starlet Neymar was sent off in controversial circumstances in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Gremio in the Brazilian championship.

The 20-year-old was already on a yellow card when he was dismissed after 53 minutes following an alleged stamp on Para.

Neymar has endured a difficult week after receiving criticism in his homeland for posing for a magazine being crucified on a cross.

But, after going a goal down, Santos battled back to earn a point thanks to an equaliser from Bruno Rodrigo.

Elsewhere, Fred scored with a remarkable volley after a pass from playmaker Deco in the first half to give Fluminense a 1-0 win over rival Flamengo on Sunday, extending their lead at the top of the table.

Fluminense hold a six-point lead over Ronaldinho's Atletico Mineiro, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Dida's Portuguesa at Sao Paulo on Saturday.

Argentina striker Hernan Barcos scored twice in Palmeiras' 3-0 victory over Ponte Preta at the Pacaembu stadium, moving the eight-time champions further away from possible relegation.

Coritiba scored late in a 1-1 home draw with Sao Paulo, while Diego Forlan's Internacional drew 0-0 with Cruzeiro.

And finally, defending champion Corinthians - no longer in contention for the title - beat Sport 3-0 in Sao Paulo.

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