Brazil took a good first step on Russian soil with a commanding win against the World Cup hosts, as Philippe Coutinho, Willian and Paulinho starred.
Russia might not have envisaged such a heavy loss to Brazil, with their recent clashes against Argentina and Spain giving them that hope. But, the Selecao produced a masterclass performance in the second half of the game to down the hosts by three quick goals.
It can’t be said Brazil did not miss Neymar, as his presence would have created an even bigger impact altogether, but the team was solid enough to score past the hosts. Philippe Coutinho and Willian, in particular, were influential during the game, but Paulinho too made a telling contribution scoring the third goal.
Centre-back Miranda opened the scoring after a scramble inside the box from a corner. Paulinho was brought down inside the box, resulting in a penalty, which Coutinho confidently dispatched, sending Igor Akinvfeev the wrong way. Paulinho then scored third, for a goal he certainly deserved.
Igor Akinfeev – 6/10
Made some very good saves, but a soft save led to the first Brazil goal. Overall, he was steady and will gain confidence from this game.
Ilya Kutepov – 5.5/10
A central figure in the Russian defence, and performances like this will help him learn from mistakes. Overall, he needs to improve as Russia will face plenty of attacks and tricky players at the World Cup
Fedor Kudryashov – 5/10
The central defence was taken apart time and again by Brazil’s free flowing attack. Like his other fellow defenders, he needs to step up his game if Russia are to take anything from the World Cup.
Vladimir Granat – 5/10
Always kept on his toes by Coutinho and Marcelo who often came forward to attack. To his credit. he did deal with the triple threat of Brazilian attackers, including Douglas Costa.
Aleksandr Golovin – 5/10
Exposed time and again by Dani Alves and Paulinho. Willian created many chances from his side of the pitch. Below average performance.
Roman Zobnin – 5/10
Like Golovin, Zobnin was left exposed several times and that directly led to Brazil attacks.
Denis Glushakov – 5/10
Tried to create something to keep the midfield ticking. But, Russia were outrun in midfield by Brazil and Glushakov could not do much to stem the flow of the game.
Dmitri Kombarov – 5.5/10
Russia’s midfielders were totally outplayed by Paulinho and Casemiro as the Brazilians stifled any potential build ups.
Aleksandr Samedov – 5/10
Could hardly test Marcelo, and the Real Madrid man stood his ground well to prevent any real danger, especially any potential threat from Samedov.
Fedor Smolov – 5/10
The main striker for Russia, Smolov created his fair share of pressure. But, he needs to improve a lot on his finishing.
Aleksei Miranchuk – 5.5/10
Like Smolov, his finishing was awful and if Russia are to stand any chance of progressing in the World Cup their strikers need to start firing on all cylinders.
Alisson – 7/10
Started ahead of Ederson, the captain on the night made some decent saves, especially late in the game when Russia threatened.
Dani Alves – 7/10
Does not seem to show any signs of ageing. Made a beautiful chance early on for Gabriel Jesus and threatened the Russian defence multiple times.
Thiago Silva – 7.5/10
Brilliant in defence and formed a good partnershp with Miranda. Was heaily involved in Brazil’s opening goal.
Miranda – 8/10
Not many were expecting him to start, but Miranda vindicated Tite’s decision by scoring the opening goal for Brazil while also being sturdy in defence.
Marcelo – 7/10
In a typical outing, Marcelo attacking and defending well.
Casemiro – 7.5/10
If Brazil are to play their best football in Russia, Casemiro will be a key part of that style. Performed brilliantly in his anchorman role.
Paulinho – 8/10
Scored Brazil’s third goal whichwas thoroughly deserved for his all action display. Missed a brilliant chance early in the second half, but also won the penalty.
Philippe Coutinho – 8/10
Took his penalty well to wrong foot Akinfeev. Was one of Brazil’s main threat in attack, running the show from a deeper role. Handled the pressure well in Neymar’s absence.
Douglas Costa – 6/10
A better performance would have meant a step towards cementing his place in the team. Inconsistent at times, but did contribute in attack in the second half.
Willian – 8/10
In tremendous form of late, which he seems to have brought to the national side as well. Attacked and created ample chances for the team, and could be considered Brazil’s main threat in the summer.
Gabriel Jesus – 7.5/10
A very mobile striker who kept getting into brilliant positions. Missed an excellent chance early on in the game, but showed what he is capable of with his link up abilities.