This result confirmed that Euro 2012’s final Italy v Spain will happen again this time at the Confederations Cup semi-final. Neymar, Dante and Fred (brace) kept Brazil unbeaten, Giaccherini and Chiellini sparked hope for some periods of the game for Italy.
With great rhythm, atmosphere the Confederations Cup in Brazil is living the expectations, hosts Brazil are looking relentless against any team that standing in their way toward home glory, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side looked very good and they are the favourites now to get into the final against Nigeria or Uruguay.
Except of injured Paulinho that was replaced by Lazio’s Hernanes Scolari chose to stay with Fred up front as a lone striker, Neymar and Hulk started on the wings again and although David Luiz broke his nose against Mexico he started as a central defenders, in the other side Cesara Prandelli had to cope without injured Andrea Pirlo and suspended Danielle De Rossi and Milan’s Riccardo Montolivo and former Liverpool and current Fiorentina midfielder Alberto Aquilani started for them, Leondaro Bonucci replaced his Junetus team-mate Andrea Barzagli in the back line.
Straight away Brazil started to attack with great passion and made Buffon work hard from the first minute of the game, Luiz came to the game angry and already in the 8th minute he got a yellow card from a tackle on Balotelli, and minutes later he conforted with Alesssandro Diamanti. Although the massive pressure from Brazil, Italy were able to get into some attacking position as Claudio Marchisio burst from the left side, passed it into the middle and Balotelli found the outside of the net.
In the 26th minute Italy’s midfield problems became bigger as Riccardo Montolivo picked up a knock and was replaced by Juventus Emanuel Giaccherini, moments after another injured player from Milan Ignazio Abate had to be stretched off after Neymar tackled him from behind, Brazil also had injury problem as David Luiz couldn’t carry on and was forced to be replaced and Dante came in for his place, and it payed off in the stopagge time of the first half as Neymar took a free kick and crossed the ball in towards Fred who head the ball, Buffon was able to stop the first attempt but the European Champions Dante was the first to hit the rebound Brazil went with an important lead just before the break.
Italy jumped straight into the game as Giaccherini got a great pass from Balotelli and was abled to score against Julio Cesar, but the equaliser wasn’t hold to much and Brazil went in front again as Neymar scored from a beautiful free kick, Italy started to pile on the pressure as they look from the equaliser, but in the 66th minute Marcelo passed a great deep ball towards Fred who was able to shake Giorgio Chiellini of his back and put Brazil 3-1 ahead, five minutes gone and a mess started in the Selecao box, Aquilani found Chiellini from a back pass and the tall center back shot into the the low corner of the net, the great rhythm of the game stayed as we reached the last moments of the game and in the 80th minute Maggio headed the ball into Cesar’s crossbar, but with all the pressure of Italy the hosts were able to score another goal and confirmed that Italy will face Spain as Buffon saved the ball in a bad way and Fred was the first to react as he slots the ball home from close range.
Man Of the Match: Fred – A battling display from the striker who brought his barren run to an end with two well-taken goals.
Brazil team – Cesar 6, Alves 6, Luiz 6, Thiago Silva 7, Marcelo 7, Luiz Gustavo 6, Oscar 6, Hernanes 6, Fred 8, Hulk 6, Neymar 7. Subs: Fernando 5, Dante 7, Bernard 5.
Italy team – Buffon 6, Chiellini 7, De Sciglio 6, Candreva 6, Aquilani 6, Marchisio 6, Balotelli 7, Montolivo 6, Bonucci 6, Abate 6, Diamanti 6. Subs: Maggio 7, El Shaarawy 5, Giaccherini 7.