RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Brazil international forward Bruno Henrique netted a quick-fire hat-trick as Flamengo maintained an eight-point lead in the Brazilian Serie A standings by beating Corinthians 4-1 on Sunday.
It took until first-half stoppage time for the hosts to break the deadlock when Henrique saw his penalty attempt saved by Cassio before the former Wolfsburg player reacted fastest to thump in the rebound.
Henrique doubled the hosts' lead a minute later by deftly lifting a shot over Cassio after a counterattack.
The 28-year then made it 3-0 two minutes after the restart by dribbling into the area from the left wing and angling a right-footed effort into the opposite corner.
Mateus Vital reduced the deficit with a 52nd-minute header but Vitinho put the result beyond doubt by dribbling past two markers and unleashing an unstoppable 25-yard finish.
It was Flamengo's 22nd win from 30 league matches this season as they bid for their first top-flight title since 2009.
In Porto Alegre, Pedro Geromel and Romulo netted in each half as hosts Gremio beat local rivals Internacional 2-0. The visitors were forced to play most of the second half with 10 men after goalkeeper Marcelo Lomba was sent off for a reckless challenge on Luciano da Rocha.
Third-placed Santos kept their faint title hopes alive with a 4-0 home win over Botafogo. Former Changchun Yatai forward Marinho was on the scoresheet for the hosts, as were Eduardo Sasha and Yeferson Soteido, who bagged a late brace. Igor Vieira was Botafogo's scorer.
In other fixtures, Goias won 2-0 at home to Avai, Bahia drew 1-1 at Cruzeiro and Athletico Paranaense won 1-0 at home to CSA.