Brazil – ITALY 10/02/2009

A capacity crowd of 67,000 filled the Emirates Stadium in London to see World Champions Italy take on five times winners Brazil. After a shaky start the night was to belong to Brazil and their Manchester City contingent of Robinho and Elano. The defeat was Italy’s first loss under coach Marcello Lippi since 2004 and denied him a world record 32nd successive match without defeat.

Brazil started the game nervously having two early scares the first when Julio Cesar was forced to make a save from Gilardino. The second when Fabio Grosso got forward and slid the ball past the Brazil keeper only to be ruled offside. A decision that Lippi contested in the post match press conference.

Slowly Brazil assert their authority on the game firstly when Ronaldinho playing through a ball to Robinho with Buffon only just getting there in time. Then minutes later (16th minute) a superb interplay between Ronaldinho and Robinho who plays along the floor for Elano to slot home.

A counterattack 11 minutes later saw captain Lucio raced forward unchallenged slide a pass to Ronaldinho. Andrea Pirlo fumbled a clearance, allowing Robinho to regain possession. Robinho with the ball at his feet tricked and dummied his way past Zambrotta, Legrottaglie and Pirlo before sliding the ball past Buffon. A simply stunning goal!
Brazil continued the game the stronger side. Italy only coming close once more before the break, with Daniele de Rossi’s weak shot palmed over by Julio Cesar, and Alberto Gilardino slicing high.

Lippi made four changes at half time and the Italians looked more assertive and found the net for a second time in the 65th only to be correctly denied again by Webb. Luca Toni appeared to take Pirlo’s deep ball down with his hand before firing past Cesar. Some sections of the Italian crowd protested to the English referee.

Some excellent last gasp defending from Lucio and Juan kept Brazil in the game as Italy kept coming forward. The Brazilian attackers failing to hold up the ball for any length of time. It was Italy who finished the game on top forcing a brilliant reflex stop from Cesar to deny Toni a late consolation goal. Minutes later Cesar saves a freekick from Grosso.

Dunga was very happy with his teams performance and spoke of his joy at seeing the team beat his the world champions. While Italy coach Lippi confessed “At this moment, Brazil are stronger than us,”.

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Date: 2/10/2009
Type: First Team
Place: ENGLAND (Londres)
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Competition: Friendlies match
Referee: Howard Webb [Angleterre]



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