Brazil beat Serbia with a brace from Richarlison but worried about Neymar

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Brazil beat Serbia with a brace from Richarlison but worried about Neymar

The game: 2-0

Brazil, favorite for the world title, made a success of its entry into this World Cup by beating Serbia logically (2-0). The score could have been much heavier but the amounts saved V. Milinkovic-Savic (60th, 81st), who was also solid (13th, 27th, 46th, 82nd, 83rd)

In the beautiful atmosphere of Lusail, the four attackers fielded by Tite (Richarlison, Neymar, Raphinha, Vinicius) have long been blocked by Serbian defensive discipline. This initially sterile domination materialized around the hour mark. Less united, less close to each other, the Serbs suffered ten very complicated minutes. The errors of Milenkovic and Gudelj also made Stojkovic’s men lose confidence, terribly disappointing offensively. The titular trio (Mitrovic, Milinkovic-Savic, Tadic), embellished by Vlahovic in the 65th, really showed nothing (0.2 xG).

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Since 2006, the Serbs have lost 8 of their 10 matches in the tournament (2 wins), the highest total defeats for a European nation over the period.

The fact: Neymar injured and in tears

The old demons reappear. In the form of his life, Neymar injured his right ankle against Serbia. On a tackle from Milenkovic, the PSG striker collapsed. The joint spun and he was treated on the pitch, before walking out. With his head down, he returned to the substitutes’ bench where he began to cry, his head in his shirt. After the match, Lucas Paqueta did not seem too worried for his team-mate, but Brazil are obviously worried about their star.

In the first period, he had struggled, losing 18 balls, losing nine out of 14 duels and not passing one dribble out of four attempted. He had still obtained the yellow card from Pavlovic, from the 6th minute.

Neymar in tears on the bench, comforted here by Eder Militao. (P. Lahalle/The Team)

The Man: Gorgeous Richarlison

Bought 58 M€ by Tottenham, Richarlison did not score this season in the Premier League but he scored one of the most beautiful goals of the World Cup. Found in the center, he missed his control a little, the ball went up but he did not hesitate: he tried and succeeded with a magnificent acrobatic volley (73rd). Previously, it was he who had unblocked the situation, on the lookout to push into the back of the net a shot repelled by the opposing goalkeeper (62nd). Returning in extremis from a calf injury to participate in the World Cup, the former Everton striker never let go during this meeting where the three-piece central defense of the Serbs muzzled him for a long time. If he only touched 25 balls (lowest total of his team), he did wonders.

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