It was a good start in today’s Brazil Italy match.Pirlo’s brilliant ball onto an on running Fabio Grosso down the left flank was perfectly timed and weighted and Grosso finished cleanly to give Italy a 1-0 lead.But cruelly the linesman on the opposite side of the field flagged Grosso’s prefectly timed run as off side.Not fair as Marcelo was keeping Grosso in play as he ran on to Andrea Pirlo’s pass.But so what.The rest of the half was spent watching Brazil alter its tempo from slow to fast with the perfection of a impresario.Duly the score reflected the quality of their play.
With a 2-0 lead what became obvious was Italy could not play out of the 4-3-3 without the cover of a second player Like Gennaro Gattuso or a player of his grinta playing stopper.Gennaro Gattuso could have closed the middle of the field shielding Cannavaro and Legrotaglie.Against a side like Brazil we need to play a 4-2-3-1 or a formation that allows our center backs the appropriate coverage.By doing so Zambrotta and Grosso are then free to go forward without fear of abandoning their two center backs.Admittedely Giorgio Chiellini who was absent due to injury could have made a difference but that misses the point.
The Second half started impressively for Italy as Lippi made wholesale changes to the lineup.The half was marked by six Substitutions for Italy which saw Giusseppi Rossi come in for DiNatale.And he was brilliant.An absolute revelation.I have never seen Rossi play.But i will never forget the pace and ability he brought to today’s game.Splitting double teams and dribbling out of danger and into threatening positions he acquitted himself beautifully.I must ask my friend Juan at Heads or Tails about Rossi and his play in La Liga and his work at Villareal.
My compliments to Brazil who at times were startling in their movement on and off the ball.Ronaldinho seemed inspired and ready to prove Carlo Ancelotti his boss at AC Milan that he should be starting every game.
Marcello Lippi told the media after the game that “Brazil are the better side at this moment in time, but in a year we could be the stronger team.”
If there is a manager out there that can make such a statement and back it up i feel confident Lippi can. He went on to add.
“It wasn’t a issue of motivation. These are players with great technique and a night like this, with the right determination, can cause you problems.
“We are now not as strong as we would like to become, so we were a little under pressure and intimidated.”
On a side note Marcello Lippi lost his opportunity at passing Vittorio Pozzo record undefeated streak.The two greats are now tied at 31 matches straight without a loss.
Brazil look great and without question along with Argentina and Spain must be pegged as favorites for 2010.Having said that if any team knows how to adapt and grow fast it is the Azzurri.Italy are still capable of being brilliant tactically,with the right mix of youthful talent like Rossi,Flocari,Sebastian Giovinco,Aquilani along with the pedigree of Buffon,Gattuso,Zambrotta and Grosso we can still be their on the final day.
Formation Italy 4-3-3
Italy: Buffon; Zambrotta, Legrottaglie, Cannavaro, Grosso; Pirlo (Dossena 74), De Rossi (Aquilani 58), Montolivo (Camoranesi 46); Di Natale (Perrotta 46), Gilardino (Rossi 46), Pepe (Toni 46)
Brazil: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Juan (Thiago Silva 77), Marcelo; Gilberto Silva (Josue 88), Felipe Melo; Elano (Daniel Alves 69), Ronaldinho, Robinho (Julio Baptista 88); Adriano (Pato 80)