Flamengo lifted the trophy for the second year in a row, as confirmation of their superior squad. However, this one was completely different from last season, as there was the feeling that this wasn’t a completely deserved title.
Jorge Jesus successor Domenech was never able to live up the high demands, and ended up sacked after two shameful defeats to São Paulo and Atlético MG (1-4 and 0-4) in round 20. Despite unconvincing, Fla was only 5 points away from leadership at this point.
Rogério Ceni arrived after two impressive spells at Fortaleza. He brought his attacking 4-4-2/4-2-4 which seemed to be fitting well the team (Gabigol could pair up with Bruno Henrique, while Arrascaeta and Everton would be wide playmakers in a midfield bossed by the energetic and unstoppable Gerson).
Ceni had an immediate impact with 4 consecutive wins, but soon Flamengo went into another poor moment, collecting 3 defeats in the second half of January. Flamengo was not much better now than when Domenech left, despite São Paulo’s vertiginous drop in that period.
Ceni had brough joy to Fla’s attack, but the team was still conceding aplenty, especially after Diego Alves picked a serious injury. Ceni had then a league-winning decision. He moved Arão to the back, forming a surprisingly very competent duo with Rodrigo Caio. Under this new format, Fla went on a great run from round 33 to 36.
In round 37, they were visited by the then leaders Inter, and only a win would do it for Flamengo. Visitors went ahead, but Gabigol and co. managed to comeback on the score and Flamengo was leading the table for the first time in the season.
Fla almost blew everything in a poor defeat in last round, but Mengão were fortunate enough their opponents Internacional were also incompetent in that round, failing to win their home game.