Brazil won the Confederation Cup at the Maracana after a convincing demolition of the world champions
Luis Felipe Scolari stuck with the same formation and same squad for all the games in the competition, no changes were made in the final too.
The only change in Vincent Del Bosque’s squad was bringing in Juan Mata at the left side replacing David Silva.
From the start of the game Brazil’s pressure play didn’t allow Spain to settle down with the ball inside their own half. Brazil played at a high tempo. Spain couldn’t handle the pressure with slow passing. This helped Brazil to higher their confidence in the game. This method is very common in every Brazil’s game scoring in the third minute against Japan, in the ninth minute against Mexico and in the second minute against Spain in the final.
To pressurize Spain it takes high courage than any other side. May be Scolari learned how Spain played against Nigeria and Italy. Spain always tries to pressure more inside their half to win the ball. Instead Brazil quickly made impact to win the ball at every grass. Scolari was again a success here.
Brazil power play
A direct counter was the key part. Brazil’s attack mostly has been successful from the right wing. Hulk has been the most disappointing player in this tournament. Neymar has been the key player for Brazil. Arbeloa had a very poor first half of the game as he was substituted by Azpilicuetta. Marcelo played very vital role to convert defence into attack. There are too many counter-attacking chances to list, but the second goal scored by Neymar was very interesting. Busquets is drawn to Neymar in a central position. Scolari’s side kept hitting Spain’s defence all the time. Sergio Ramos brought down Oscar, Arbeloa brought down Neymar and in the second half Gerard Pique was dismissed for tripping Neymar. Breaking against the high defensive line has always been an obvious tactic against Spain (and Barcelona) but usually sides have to overcome heavy pressing to get those opportunities – here, Brazil played the ball out of defence easily.
Xavi had a brief spell of steadying the game midway through the first half, but otherwise Spain were overrun. In hindsight, this was a match where Del Bosque’s double pivot would have made sense – Javi Martinez could have been played alongside Busquets to offer more protection for the defence, and more physicality in midfield.
Spain’s best chance came when Pedro Rodriguez’s shot was brilliantly cleared off the line by David Luiz (shortly before Neymar made it 2-0) and the goal was an example of how opponents can exploit Brazil.
The Brazilian centre-backs stuck extremely tightly to the opposition centre-forward, with both Luiz and Thiago Silva doing that against Fernando Torres here – for Pedro’s chance, Silva was drawn out of position, and Mata burst into that space and provided the key pass.
This was something Spain didn’t do frequently enough, and while it’s difficult to know whether it would have been more successful, the use of a false nine would have been particularly interesting – it might have resulted in Brazil’s centre-backs constantly dragged out of position.
The final game
It’s impossible to ignore the importance of physical conditioning here – Spain looked absolutely exhausted. They’d had one less day rest after their semi-final – where they were forced to play a draining period of extra-time against Italy. Their pressing was non-existent, and they were outfought physically in the midfield battle too.
Brazil’s approach was simple but effective – they pressed at the start, ensured the game was played at a high tempo, and broke immediately when they won possession. Fred led the attack intelligently, while Neymar and Oscar provided clever flicks to evade opponents and ensure counter-attacks continued, and Hulk got the better of Alba early on.
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