Defender Gum headed a late, late winner for the Rio giants.
Closest rivals Atletico Mineiro are nine points behind after also winning, 2-1 against Sport.
Meanwhile Palmeiras’ hopes of avoiding relegation were given a fresh blow as they lost 1-0 to Nautico.
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The reputation of the Premier League means it is the most popular and one of the most watched leagues in the world.
Five English clubs will compete in the last sixteen of the Champions League for the first time ever as Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham face some difficult away matches.