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This blog reflects on soccer qua football all over the world. The blog has a specific investment in attractive, attacking football and, as such, focuses on Brazil, the most emphatic historical exponent of the beautiful game.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Brazil Defeats Argentina 2-0 in Superclasico

Brazil won the Superclasico against Argentina 2-0 thanks to goals by Lucas Moura and Neymar in a sparkling performance that handed embattled coach Mano Menezes a much needed victory. The Selecao played typical samba football while maintaining control over the run of play from all inches of the field. True to their samba roots, Brazil avoided any kind of rigid formation. The offensive quintet of Ronaldinho, Lucas Moura, Neymar and Borges meandered all over the field. Lucas Moura, in particular, impressed with exceptional speed, dribbling ability, positional awareness, vision and balance.

In the 54th minute, Brazil opened the scoring on the counter-attack from an elegant through ball from left back Bruno Cortes, to Borges, to Danilo and finally through to the onrushing Lucas. Lucas latched onto the ball, got away from his defender and delivered a clinical finish past the goalkeeper’s right hand to give Brazil a 1-0 lead. Twenty minutes later, Bruno Cortes joined the attack once again, this time bursting forward from his left back position and slipping the ball to substitute Diego Souza, who in turn found Neymar in the box. Neymar hustled the ball past the goal line in the 75th minute to make it 2-0.

Brazil gave their home fans a lively performance that affirmed Mano Menezes’s investment in testing less experienced players in high profile friendlies. Lucas Moura da Silva was by far the man of the match and may well emerge as a contender to replace Paulo Henrique Ganso in the center of Brazil’s attacking midfield given Ganso’s spate of injuries and disappointing form at the international level. Brazil dominated the match from the outset and imposed their style of play without appearing predictable or decipherable in any way. Neymar played on both flanks while Borges took the brunt of stern Argentine defending near the box. Ronaldinho played deep in midfield and had a quiet game, save for his influence in calming the team and giving his young squad the confidence to play as team captain. Fans should expect more appearances from Lucas Moura, Bruno Cortes and Danilo in upcoming friendlies.

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