Analysis: ‘Sem’ Neymar, Flamengo’s ‘trio’ gives creative touch and national team maintains invincibility

In the process of adapting to the embezzlement caused by the absence of players who play in England, Brazil needed a lot of strength to beat Chile and remain undefeated in the Qualifiers. Especially in a night below Neymar’s criticism, who was still out of shape.

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It was then up to the players of Flamengo, Gabigol and Éverton Ribeiro, to take the lead in the game. Even in sacrifice, playing open, the attacker participated well in the main plays. And the midfielder entered the second half to give a new dynamic to the poor midfield sector, and ended up winning the goal.

Ribeiro celebrates goal Photo: Lucas Figueiredo/CBF / Lucas Figueiredo/CBF
Ribeiro celebrates goal Photo: Lucas Figueiredo/CBF / Lucas Figueiredo/CBF

The rise in production also had the presence of a former player from the Rio de Janeiro club — Gerson, who performed better than the titleholder Bruno Guimarães, both debutants in the main team. Vinicius Junior, who also debuted, did not produce what was expected in the face of so much defensive obligation. The same goes for Lucas Paquetá.

After the 1-0 victory, Brazil takes Argentina on Sunday, and tries for the eighth in a row.

Disorganization hinders

For a coach already dissatisfied with his team’s creative process, Tite saw the team’s performance in the first half deteriorate even further. Less in the choice of the pieces, more in the formation on the field, what was observed was a team with difficulty to attack, but also without any defensive security. Chile’s superiority passed through a more numerous and intertwined midfield. In scheme 352, the hosts had more possession of the ball and made Brazil suffer with the rise of their two full-backs.

Brazil’s only dangerous play was a counterattack pulled by Gabigol, which ended at the feet of Neymar. The attacker, out of physical and technical form, isolated. The ace did not manage to have the expected role in the offensive transition. Vinícius Júnior was the one who tried to escape from the left side the most, but normally he had no one to play with. On the opposite side, Paquetá was also well marked. And ended up reversing with Vini to hold Isla’s climbs.

Integration grows

A novelty on the team, Bruno Guimarães made a debut to forget. And with a yellow card, he gave way to Gerson in the second half. Éverton Ribeiro also entered, replacing Vini. And the tactical disposition of the Brazilian team changed. There was still a need for greater support on the right side. Substitutions did not increase ball possession and Brazil continued to be dominated. With Ribeiro on the inside, Gabigol open and Paquetá on the left, the lack of identification with the role played in their clubs drew attention. Contradicting Tite’s speech. But the knowledge among the players spoke louder.

In Danilo’s first good climb from the right, Éverton Ribeiro found Neymar on the inside, but goalkeeper Bravo defended. On the rebound, the midfielder scored the goal. By taking the lead, Brazil curbed the momentum of Chile, which had to make changes to put pressure back on.

With the moves, the selection balanced the ball possession, and managed to improve this creative process a lot, especially with the approach between Gerson, Ribeiro and Gabi. It was the Chileans who started playing on the counterattack, in an open and nervous game until the end, without more goals.