To the one reader who emailed me the other day saying I’m too biased and only focus on Barcelona players in these international matches and should give more credit to the opponents: Venezuela were AWESOME against Brazil on Tuesday night. The Vinotinto put on a defensive clinic and never lost their composure for almost 100 minutes of football in which Brazil tried as hard as they could to find a winner but couldn’t.
That said, let’s move on to Philippe Coutinho and Arthur, who were the Barça players at the Arena Fonte Nova that felt like the Camp Nou for any Culé watching the game. Just like the opening match against Bolivia, Brazil were mediocre at best, and it’s unbelievable that such a talented squad looks just fine on the pitch when they should simply be dominating the well-organized Venezuelans.
Brazil pass the ball to death with no purpose, they don’t use the immensely talented wing players to create havoc on one-on-one situations, they don’t play one-twos around the box which used to be a staple of Brazilian football, and their only true attacking resource is crosses into the box. Without Neymar they do play more unselfish, collective football, but they’re still not coached.
When Neymar is there, Tite’s flaws are hidden thanks to the genius of Ney. When he can’t play, Tite has to create a better environment for the other great players still at his disposal. He doesn’t, and then Brazil look pretty bad for their standards.
Does that sound familiar to you, Barça fans? Yup, does to me.
Day 5 Results
Bolivia 1-3 Peru
Goals: Moreno (28’), Guerrero (45’), Farfán (55’), Flores (90’+6)
Brazil 0-0 Venezuela
Goal of the Day
Peru scored a huge equalizer just before halftime that started their comeback against Bolivia at the Maracanã, and the goal is gorgeous. Awesome pass from Christian Cueva, and Paolo Guerrero shows great composure in front of goal (US only):
Day 6 Schedule
Colombia vs Qatar (11.30pm CET, Wednesday)