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Player ratings as Richarlison double seals opening victory

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Two goals from Richarlison inspired Brazil to a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Serbia on Thursday evening.

A scrappy game came to life after the break as Brazil found their groove and Richarlison grabbed two impressive goals to give the pre-tournament favourites the ideal start to life in Qatar.

Neymar nearly caught out Serbia goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic directly from a corner after ten minutes, with the former Manchester United goalkeeper reacting well to beat the ball away.

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Milinkovic-Savic came to his team’s rescue again soon after as he raced off his line to confront the electric Vinicius Junior, diving at the Real Madrid man’s feet to clear the danger before he could get a shot off.

Raphinha and Vinicius Junior should have done far better with chances soon after as Brazil, while dominant, failed to really ask any questions of the 6’9 monster in between Serbia’s posts inside the first 45 minutes.

After the break, Brazil’s first real opportunity came after ten minutes as Neymar misjudged a cross and slashed a good chance well wide of the goal.

Alex Sandro then struck the post with a fierce strike from range, before Richarlison finally opened the scoring just after the hour mark.

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Some nice work in the box from Neymar ended with the ball at the feet of Vinicius, whose strike was parried into the path of the Tottenham forward to tap home and put Brazil deservedly ahead.

His first was a bit scrappy but there was nothing but class about Richarlison’s second. With 15 minutes to go, he got up to meet a cross with an outrageous bicycle kick which thundered into the back of the net and sealed the win in emphatic style.

Casemiro had a sensational attempt at a third as he fired at goal from range, but Milinkovic-Savic was equal to it.

They didn’t need the third, however, as Serbia offered very little going forwards and allowed Brazil to waltz to victory.

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GK: Alisson – 6/10 – Didn’t have a whole lot to do.

RB: Danilo – 5/10 – Defensively sound but games like this require more in attack.

CB: Thiago Silva – 8/10 – Did everything he needed at the back and operated like a quarterback in possession, picking apart Serbia’s defence with ease.

CB: Marquinhos – 7/10 – Equally as comfortable as his defensive partner. Will be relieved to have avoided a battle with Mitrovic.

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LB: Alex Sandro – 5/10 – Needed to do so much more down the left wing.

DM: Casemiro – 8/10 – Sublime passing range. Didn’t have a lot of defending to do so had all the freedom in the world to flash his more creative side.

DM: Lucas Paqueta – 7/10 – Didn’t play as deep as his role would suggest as he had plenty of opportunities to pull the strings in midfield.

RM: Raphinha – 4/10 – Ran into a few dead ends and guilty of some really underwhelming shots on goal. Didn’t really look up for it against Serbia’s bruising defenders.

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AM: Neymar – 6/10 – Targeted by plenty of fouls but dropped deeper in the second half to try and orchestrate things a little better. Made some questionable decisions at times.

LM: Vinicius Junior – 8/10 – A constant menace down the left and walked away with a couple of assists.

ST: Richarlison – 7/10 – Incredibly quiet before his goals but looked a massive threat after the break.

SUB: Fred (75′ for Paqueta) – 6/10

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SUB: Rodrygo (75′ for Vinicius) – 7/10

SUB: Antony (79′ for Neymar) – 6/10

SUB: Gabriel Jesus (79′ for Richarlison) – 6/10

SUB: Gabriel Martinelli (87′ for Raphinha) – N/A
Manager: Tite – 7/10 – Criticised online by fans who didn’t see the value in substituting his top players when the game was already won. Made a number of smart calls here.

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GK: Vanja Milinkovic-Savic – 7/10 – Flew off his line to make a brave challenge on Vinicius Junior in the first half. Commanded his box.

CB: Milos Veljkovic – 6/10 – A few desperate blocks at times but you can’t fault the effort.

CB: Nikola Milenkovic – 7/10 – A real monster against Brazil’s forwards in the first half. Unfortunate to lose his clean sheet.

CB: Strahinja Pavlovic – 7/10 – Wasn’t scared of Raphinha’s pace whatsoever. Went toe-to-toe with him and almost always came out on top.

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RM: Andrija Zivkovic – 5/10 – Did a solid job defensively but his lack of movement in attack ensured Serbia remained on the back foot for the first hour.

CM: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – 6/10 – Had a few delicious runs from deep but was largely kept out of things by Casemiro.

CM: Nemanja Gudelj – 7/10 – His yellow card early in the second half changed the tone of the game as he couldn’t maintain his impressive defensive levels.

CM: Sasa Lukic – 6/10 – Did a decent defensive job. Seemed determined to rip Neymar’s shirt off at times.

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LM: Filip Mladenovic – 4/10 – His lack of attacking output was a massive issue before his substitution.

AM: Dusan Tadic – 5/10 – Had the odd nice moment but couldn’t get as involved as he’s used to at club level.

ST: Aleksandar Mitrovic – 2/10 – Starved of service but didn’t do a whole lot to help himself.

SUB: Ivan Ilic (57′ for Gudelj) – 5/10

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SUB: Nemanja Radonjic (57′ for Zivkovic) – 5/10

SUB: Dusan Vlahovic (66′ for Mladenovic) – 5/10

SUB: Darko Lazovic (66′ for Lukic) – 5/10

SUB: Nemanja Maksimovic (83′ for Mitrovic) – N/A

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Manager: Dragan Stojkovic – 5/10 – Tried to set his side up to be tough to beat but couldn’t come up with a way to live with Brazil. Seemed to be chasing shadows in the second half as he changed systems.

Player of the match – Vinicius Junior



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Football

Rangers appoint Michael Beale as new manager

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Rangers have confirmed the appointment of Michael Beale as the club’s new manager, following Gio van Bronckhorst’s sacking.

The former QPR manager has signed a contract which runs until 2026 at Ibrox, returning to the Gers having previously worked as an assistant manager at the club under Steven Gerrard.

90min revealed on Sunday that Beale’s appointment was imminent, and a club statement has confirmed his return to the club: “Michael Beale is the 18th manager of Rangers with the club delighted to confirm his appointment today.

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Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“Signing a contract to 2026, the 42 year-old joins from his role as manager of Queens’ Park Rangers in West London having previously worked as first-team coach at Ibrox from 2018 to last November. It is an exciting appointment for the club, with Beale undoubtedly one of the most sought-after young managers in British football.”

Speaking about his return to Rangers, Beale said: “It is fantastic to be back and to see everybody this morning, there are some new faces but some people that I know really well so it is great to see everyone. 

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“I am hugely proud, it is a wonderful, wonderful football club, it is an institution. For everyone that works here it is a huge privilege, but to be the manager of this football club, that is extremely special. Some wonderful people have sat in this chair prior to me, and I am hugely proud to be the person sat here now.”



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Football

Portugal vs Uruguay: Confirmed lineups

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By defeating Uruguay in Lusail, Portugal will be hoping to advance to the World Cup’s last 16 in 2022.

During their first match, Cristiano Ronaldo and company defeated Ghana in a five-goal thriller, while Uruguay and South Korea drew 0-0.

Line-up

Portugal XI: Diogo Costa, João Cancelo, Pepe, Rúben Dias, R. Guerreiro, Rúben Neves, William, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, João Félix, Ronaldo.

Uruguay XI:

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EPL

Conor Coady responds to ‘daft’ question about Liverpool allegiance

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Conor Coady has told England teammate Jordan Henderson to do better in his goading after the Liverpool captain taunted him over his Everton connection.

Coady was a product of the Liverpool youth system and made a solitary appearance for his boyhood club in the 2012 Europa League. He has since moved on to Huddersfield Town and Wolves before joining Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton on loan last summer.

Speaking on the latest episode of Lion’s Den from England’s World Cup camp, though, Henderson could not resist trying to wind up Coady by quizzing him on his allegiances.

“Conor, we are all England here,” Henderson said. “But what I really want to know is: are you blue or red?”

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Henderson then started laughing, which prompted a similar response from Coady, who appeared both irritated and amused by the question.

“It’s so poor from him,” Coady said while smiling. “We have banter all the time. Of course, I am playing for Everton. He knows deep down.

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

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“So, for him to come out there and ask that question is daft. Of course, I am blue. Of course, I am blue, without a shadow of a doubt.

“For him to say that…you know what I am going to go back there sit down and have a coffee with him. I will give him a bit. That’s nowhere near good enough from the big fella. Blue all day long.”

Everton have a clause allowing them to sign Coady permanently from Wolves this summer for a fee of just £4.5m.



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