Brazil 2-0 Italy: Robinho lights up the Emirates

February 10, 2009 at 19:15 3 comments


Brazil produced a decent first-half display and walked through a largely uneventful second-period against a nonchalant Italy in London on Tuesday night.

There were some steady performances from the Brazilians and in particular, surprise starter, Felipe Melo, did not look out of place.

Ronaldinho Gaúcho seemed like he was getting back to finding his old form but the star of the show was Manchester City’s Robinho whose flashes of brilliance rightly earned him the man-of–the-match award.

In truth, the Italians’ approach to the game left a lot to be desired and they rarely put Brazil under any real pressure. But with the spectre of the recently unemployed Felipão hovering in the background, Dunga will feel relieved that he has managed to put one over the European giants.

The match started lively enough and Italy had the ball in the net after 3 minutes. But Fabio Grosso was ruled offside – incorrectly as it turned out.

11 minutes in, a clever backheal by Elano found Robinho. He then supplied the perfect return ball to his Manchester City teammate and Brazil were in front.

With so many of his players based in Italy, Dunga’s men seemed to have the measure of Marcelo Lippi’s team and Italy struggled to get possession.

The highlight of the evening came on the 26 minute mark when a piece of absolute magic from Robinho put all his off-field troubles behind him – at least for now.

Robinho dispossessed Pirlo on the edge of the Italian area. Pirlo then stood watching as Robinho’s trickery made Zambrotta look like a park player before he fired home for Brazil’s second.

The fight back from Italy never materialised and the Blues were limited to some half-chances.

Dunga would have been very satisfied with the first-half performance. And it was no surprise that the same 11 reappeared after the interval. But Marcelo Lippi was clearly not pleased with the half-hearted display he’d witnessed in the first period and brought on four new faces.

Brazil, though, remained in control. But the chances in front of goal dried up as the game shifted into training match mode.

The two real opportunities of the half fell to the Europeans. 65 minutes in, the Italians thought they’d scored. But once again the goal was ruled out – this time for handball by Luca Toni.

With 82 minutes on the clock, Julio César made a point-blank save to deny Luca Toni. Then moments later had to stretch to stop a Grosso free-kick.

Brazil held on and took the applause from most of the 60,000 in the stadium when they walked off the pitch.

With good results against Portugal and Italy, Dunga may be feeling a little more secure in his position as coach. But the real test will come when Brazil travel to Ecuador in March for the next round of the World Cup qualifiers.

See the highlights here   

Brazil 2-0 Italy

Venue: Emirates stadium, London

Date: 10/2/09

Brazil: Julio César, Maicon, Lúcio, Juan (Thiago Silva), Marcelo, Felipe Melo, Gilberto Silva (Josué), Elano (Daniel Alves), Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Robinho (Júlio Baptista), Adriano (Alexandre Pato)

Coach: Dunga

Italy: Buffon, Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Legrottaglie, Grosso, Pirlo (Dossena), Montolivo (Perrotta), De Rossi (Aquilani), Pepe (Camoranesi), Di Natale (Rossi), Gilardino (Luca Toni)

Coach: Marcelo Lippi

Goals: Elano, 12 ; Robinho, 26

Yellows: Perrotta, Grosso, Zambrotta (ITALY).

Referees: Howard Webb, Ass: Philip Sharp & Peter Kirbkup (all England)

Attendance: 60,077

Entry filed under: Brazil squad. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jzlim11  |  February 10, 2009 at 23:09

    In my opinion, the man of the match should be Gilberto. His solid defensive playing and simple passing with Felipe Melo in midfield path the victory. Felipe Melo did a very good job. Robinho excellent too. Ronaldihno slowly picking up but still far form his best. Adriano too, but his tough physical present up front cause Italy defender headache. Cause it is not easy to topple him. Lucio and Juan defence partnership so effective. But what worry me is the replacement for them. Thiago Silva so inexperience and nervous in second half.

  • 2. Martin  |  February 10, 2009 at 23:41

    Great goal by Robinho but Elano’s was pretty good too, and a nice bit of collective work. I’ve always been impressed with Elano when I see him with Brazil. He’s a smart midfielder and a good link between the more defensive midfielders and the more attack minded ones. An impressive debut too for Felipe Melo, better to have him in the starting lineup than either Josue or Mineiro. As a Real Madrid fan I wish Marcelo could play like he did v Italy when he is with the merengues!

    No surprise in a friendly up 2-0 that Brazil took the foot off the accelerator in the 2nd half but Julio Cesar came up with a couple of nice saves to preserve the shutout. Ever since the era of Taffarel, what was once a Brazilian weakness, goalkeeping, is now a strength.

  • 3. Sexton Blake  |  February 13, 2009 at 16:10

    Enjoyed every minute of it – it truly was a joy seeing echoes of 2005-era Ronnie…but one can’t help but feel that combining Ronnie & Robinho in the same team is a luxury too far.


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Jon Cotterill. Commentator/expert/eyes on South American football. São Paulo/Buenos Aires. Trying to shout more.

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