Brazil go up three against Denmark, declare “Good job,” take rest of the afternoon off
Brazil 3, Denmark 1 is your final score from Germany.
It’s a well-worn cliche that will make personalities like Dotun Adebayo cringe, but it was a tale of two halves for Brazil. After spending (most) of the 1st half pressing, moving well without the ball, and trying to exploit angles around the pitch, they saw themselves go up 3-0 mostly thanks to the fine work of Hulk and Oscar.
In the 2nd half, they basically played defense for the entire 45 minutes – and what’s more, reactive, lethargic defense. If their problem was playing with too high of a line against Bosnia, their problem was that everyone was sitting far too deep today. Thankfully Denmark could only scrounge 1 goal out of it (an offside goal at that) but Mano’s Selecao missed a golden chance to FINALLY have a truly authoritative victory, the likes we haven’t seen since the Scotland match (although the scorline was superior.)
In any case, here are your Player Ratings:
Jefferson – 7.5. Had one very shaky moment, dealing with a backpass from Thiago Silva, but other than that looked comfortable with both shots and crosses. Continues to put in solid shifts between the goalposts.
Thiago Silva – 8.0. If it wasn’t for Hulk, he’d be my my man of the match. His excellent reads, clearances, and last-ditch tackles saved the team SEVERAL times. He was the one real defensive presence in a backline that looked hazy and porous. Also passed the ball well out of the back, including one absolutely gorgeous diagonal long ball to Marcelo early in the 2nd half.
Juan – 5.5. Spent the entire afternoon looking uncertain, sometimes chasing the ball well out of position, at other times backpedaling frantically. With David Luiz out, I hope that Mano starts Bruno Uvini next time. I have never, not once, been impressed with Juan.
Marcelo – 5.5. Wonderful on offense as always. Could have and should have had an assist after great work to center the ball to Damiao early in the 2nd. But was a wreck on defense. Almost always out of position and slow to recover, Denmark enjoyed most of their joy down Marcelo’s wing.
Danilo – 5.0. Like Marcelo, had some very nice moments on offense, especially in the first 15 minutes. But like Marcelo, was often out of position, and seemed genuinely surprised every time Denmark overlapped him. Had to be bailed out by Thiago Silva, Oscar and even Hulk several times.
Sandro – 6.0. Was a muscular presence in the first half, routinely outworking the Danes off the ball. But he was slow to help defend the wing, and he was one of the ones who dropped way too deep in the 2nd half, which completely negates his strengths.
Romulo – 5.5. Little good, little bad. You can tell he’s a domestic player, considering his natural instinct was always to drop deep rather than press and be proactive. Did come over and help cover for Marcelo, but this was a disappointing game from him. I was very interested to see how he would do, because he’s a very versatile player for Vasco da Gama. But he showed none of that here. One wonders if he squandered his chance, with Casemiro on the bench.
Lucas – 4.5. In some ways, my flop of the match. Worked hard, but couldn’t add a single dimension to Brazil’s attack. Tunnel-visioned and overambitious, he looked more concerned with impressing Mourinho than linking up with his teammates. Aside from the 2nd Argentina match, he has not once impressed when given a starting role, and I just don’t think he’s ready for this stage yet. His best role is off the bench at the Olympics, when he came come in late and provide pace and directness against tired defenses.
Oscar – 7.0. His work in the first half was excellent. Extremely mobile and intelligent with his movement and his passing. Also worked hard to drop back and win the ball. His footwork was key to the 2nd goal. I really like this kid, and I think, while he can’t pull off some of the things Ganso can, is just a more well-rounded, more consistent player who can help the team in multiple ways. He did slack off considerably in the 2nd half, but certainly not more than his teammates.
Hulk – 8.0. My man of the match. Pacy, tricky, powerful. His first goal was a superb skimmer that relied on surprise to pass the goalkeeper. Very post-injury Ronaldo-esque. He was involved in the 2nd goal (I initially thought he scored it) and his clinical finish led to the third. Routinely dropped back down the right wing to help Danilo, and unlike other matches for Brazil, he looked more at ease this time, less concerned with trying to pull off something spectacular.
Leandro Damiao – 6.0. A bit of a puzzling game from him. For the first 35 minutes he worked really hard, pressing the center backs, splitting offside traps, muscling for position in the box for crosses. Also linked up well with Oscar and Hulk. It was only his first touch that was lacking. And then…he just seemed to disappear. His work rate vanished. The worst moment was early in the 2nd half, when Marcelo’s ball from the goalline could have fallen. If he had collected and executed a simple turn, he almost certainly would have buried it. But he barely moved. Usually you see Damiao play with a wry smile on his face, but today when the camera focused on him he always looked tired and irritated. He has every chance in the world to cement his position as the starting number 9 from now until 2014, because he offers so much of what we need. But he has to do better than he did today.
Alex Sandro – 5.5. Came on for Marcelo but didn’t look any better in defense than the Madrid man did.
Rafael – 6.0. Came on for Danilo. His flank was mostly quiet after his entrance.
Wellington Nem – 6.0. Had a few nice runs which led to 2 shots on goal, the only real action Brazil had in the first half. But I thought in both cases the better option was to pass than shoot. I suppose it’s defensible, considering it was his first international cap. The temptation to be a late star would be overwhelming to everybody.
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