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Player ratings as Selecao cruise into World Cup quarter-finals

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Brazil eased into the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup with a memorable and emphatic win over South Korea on Monday night.

Tite’s men raced into an early lead at Stadium 974 and never looked back as one of the tournament favourites flexed their muscles on the penultimate day of last 16 action.

Brazil broke the deadlock after six minutes when Raphinha came inside off the right flank and drew the challenge of several South Korea defenders, with his low cross being touched on by Neymar and into the path of a wide-open Vinicius Junior. The Real Madrid forward managed to pick out the top corner despite the various bodies retreating to the goal line, securing just his second goal for the Selecao.

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Just five minutes later, Brazil were awarded a penalty when Richarlison stole the ball off of Jung Woo-young while in the act of clearing, drawing contact from the midfielder and falling to the ground. The returning Neymar stepped up and won a battle of wits with goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu, rooting him to his spot and rolling the ball into the bottom corner.

Alisson was forced into a stretching save as a manic opening period continued, quickly reaching upwards to divert Hwang Hee-chan’s 25-yard piledriver over the bar.

Brazil added their third and it came in typical yellow-and-green fashion. Richarlison began the move with some head juggling, feeding in the unusually high Marquinhos who then played it round the corner for Thiago Silva, and his first-time pass found Richarlison through on goal and he made no mistake from six yards out.

With 36 minutes on the clock, the Selecao had their fourth. Vinicius’ chipped cut back perfectly found the run of Lucas Paqueta, and his controlled volley rolled along the floor and past a helpless Kim.

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A fifth could have been added before the break as Brazil looked to hit South Korea on the counter, but Richarlison’s scuffed shot was mercifully denied and the rebound bounced over off of Neymar’s knee.

Richarlison

Richarlison enjoyed himself / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

The start of the second half began with Kim denying Raphinha and Alisson keeping out Son Heung-min as a breathless encounter continued.

Raphinha was clearly out for a goal of his own, twice more cutting inside and twisting his way past a couple of South Korea defenders before again being kept out by Kim.

The Taegeuk Warriors’ search for a consolation saw Alisson save another of Hwang’s strikes, while Marquinhos managed to crawl across the floor and deny Son from the rebound.

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South Korea did pull one back in the final quarter of an hour as substitute Paik Seung-ho lashed one in from 25 yards after responding quickest to a cleared free-kick.

An acrobatic volley from 39-year-old Dani Alves was blocked by the head of Chul Hong in the final minute of regulation time, before referee Clement Turpin brought the curtain down after four minutes of stoppages.

Brazil will now face Croatia in the quarter-finals on Friday. The winners will then take on Netherlands or Argentina next week.

Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Raphinha, Lucas Paqueta

The boys / Francois Nel/GettyImages

GK: Alisson – 7/10 – Brazil were dominant but Alisson still had to be called into action on a few occasions, making a string of fine saves. Brought off for Weverton in the last ten minutes ensuring every member of the squad has played at least once.

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RB: Eder Militao – 6/10 – His job was made easier by Son starting up front and Hwang taking all of his shots from distance.

CB: Marquinhos – 8/10 – Stepped into midfield with ease and kept Son quiet (even blocking a goal-bound shot of his when he actually forged a chance).

CB: Thiago Silva – 9/10 – Showed off his excellent range of passing at both ends of the pitch while making sure Cho couldn’t get into the game.

LB: Danilo – 6/10 – Looked fit and fresh after returning from an ankle injury. Barely tested and didn’t put a foot wrong.

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CM: Casemiro – 8/10 – Broke up play and while he looked wasteful on the ball early on, he quickly grew into the game and steamrolled his way through midfield.

CM: Lucas Paqueta – 9/10 – Brought flair and energy to the midfield battle, waltzing his way through to goal and caressing in Brazil’s fourth.

RM: Raphinha – 8/10 – Clearly wasn’t fazed by his early pass straight out of play. Came back stronger with a twisting-and-turning display coming in off the right.

AM: Neymar – 8/10 – The perfect game for Neymar having just returned from a nasty ankle injury, playing at his own pace because he was afforded the right to.

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LM: Vinicius Junior – 9/10 – It was a wonder why Vinicius had only scored once for Brazil prior to tonight. With his second in the bank and a wonderful all-round display to boot, he’ll surely kick on as a Selecao icon.

CF: Richarlison – 9/10 – Hard to believe that he isn’t a nailed on starter at club level, particularly with a positional rival on the other side tonight. Embodied ‘joga bonito’ and was worthy of the moniker ‘R9’.

Substitutes

Dani Alves (63′ for Militao) – 5/10

Bremer (72′ for Danilo) – 5/10

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Gabriel Martinelli (72′ for Vinicius) – 5/10

Weverton (80′ for Alisson) – N/A

Rodrygo (81′ for Neymar) – N/A

Manager

Tite – 9/10 – Sometimes criticised for not getting the most out of his flair players, Tite deserves his flowers for inspiring such a classic performance. Even joined in with Richarlison’s dancing.

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Seungho Paik

Paik pulled one back / Francois Nel/GettyImages

GK: Kim Seung-gyu – 3/10 – Made to look a fool by Neymar on the penalty and also conceded several other goals from open play.

RB: Kim Moon-hwan – 3/10 – Had the thankless task of trying to slow down Vinicius. It did not end well.

CB: Kim Min-jae – 2/10 – Made some strange decisions to stay or go. Did little to help organise a haphazard defence.

CB: Kim Young-gwon – 3/10 – Pulled to-and-fro by Richarlison and Neymar.

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LB: Kim Jin-su – 4/10 – His life was made difficult by Raphinha but he at least showed some endeavour going forward. Was hooked at the break, mind.

RM: Lee Jae-sung – 3/10 – Found it very hard to get in the game, which is damning considering he should have tested Danilo on his return from injury.

CM: Hwang In-beom – 2/10 – Like Kim Min-jae at the back, Hwang was often guilty of overcommitting and allowing Brazil to run past him at will.

CM: Jung Woo-young – 2/10 – Gave away a penalty and was generally off the pace. Withdrawn at half-time.

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LM: Hwang Hee-chan – 5/10 – His shots, though from a long way out, were at least mildly threatening.

CF: Cho Gue-sung – 4/10 – Failed to impose his physical superiority as he did in the group stages.

CF: Son Heung-min – 4/10 – Bento’s decision to play Son centrally was strange, making it harder for him to get in the game. Squandered a good chance at the start of the second half but the game was already gone by then.

Substitutes

Chul Hong (46′ for Kim J.S.) – 4/10

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Son Joon-ho (46′ for Jung W.Y.) – 5/10

Paik Seung-ho (65′ for Hwang I.B.) – 7/10

Lee Kang-in (74′ for Lee J.S.) – 4/10

Hwang Ui-jo (80′ for Cho G.S.) – N/A

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Manager

Paulo Bento – 3/10 – South Korea were completely overawed and overrun. They were set up to fail by Bento’s tactics or simply didn’t listen to him.

Player of the Match – Vinicius Junior



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EPL

Cody Gakpo reflects on first month at Liverpool

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Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo has opened up on his first month on the books at Anfield, admitting he is still getting used to Jurgen Klopp’s tactics.

The Dutchman was wanted by a number of elite sides, with Manchester United expected to win the race for his signature, but it was Liverpool who snuck in and agreed to pay an initial £35m to bring Gakpo to England.

The 23-year-old, who made his name as a left winger but has spent time as a striker at Liverpool, is yet to score after four appearances for his new side, but he told club media that is it just a matter of getting to grips with his new surroundings

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“My feeling, personally, is everyone in the team has so much quality,” he said. “That is what I see in training and in phases in the games.

“It is also a part of football, that sometimes things don’t work out exactly the way you want them to. We just have to keep improving, working hard, and the quality will come out. Then, you’re going to see the real Liverpool.”

He continued: “From a football perspective, it’s a new environment on the pitch, with new players and a new team. I can tell it’s a really great group. Every day I am looking forward to working with them, to train hard and to play the games. I am trying to adapt as quickly as possible, to improve every day and in the end show the best version of myself.

“Off the pitch, to be honest, I haven’t been in the city so many times yet. Most of the time I have been in the hotel. I am moving this week, actually. That’s also something I’m looking forward to.”

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Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

Gakpo also confessed that he is still trying to adapt to his new role in Liverpool’s team.

“It is a little bit different to what I’m used to,” the Dutchman admitted. “Normally, I have played on the left for almost the past three years.

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“It’s something I can improve, playing in the striker role, and I want to show my quality there. It’s a great position and playing there makes me more complete as a technical player.





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Fulham launch bid Fluminense midfielder Andre

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Fulham have made a bid to sign Fluminense midfielder Andre, 90min understands.

The 21-year-old has quickly established himself as one of Fluminense’s top players and a number of sides across Europe have expressed an interest in luring him away from his homeland in 2023.

Sources have confirmed to 90min that Fulham have approached Fluminense to try and thrash out a deal, but the Brazilian side are reluctant to part ways with their star player during the 2023 campaign.

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Andre, who has been linked with the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool, has spoken out about the interest and insisted his focus remains solely on his current employers.

“Obviously, I’m focused and very happy,” Andre said recently. “I just renewed my contract until 2026.

“It’s normal to get offers, but I’m focused here on Fluminense and having an excellent season.”

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more!

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If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

Andre’s agent, Carlos Leite, also took to Instagram to confirm that the 21-year-old had agreed to remain with Fluminense until the end of the current campaign, which runs over the entire calendar year.

“Thanks to the great work carried out, Andre entered the radars of some of the biggest European clubs and, with that, he has received several enquiries and some official proposals,” Leite wrote.

“However, the player and Fluminense, through president Mario Bittencourt, sealed an agreement for the midfielder to remain at the club at this time, with all the dedication and commitment, always seeking the best for Fluminense in all competitions.”

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Sporting CP manager makes Pedro Porro admission as Tottenham talks continue

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Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim has warned Tottenham that he will not take right-back Pedro Porro out of his starting lineup until a transfer has been 100% agreed.

90min understands Tottenham are confident they will get a deal over the line for the 23-year-old eventually, but Sporting’s reluctance to budge from their asking price of Porro’s €45m release clause has led to some lengthy negotiations which are not yet over.

And while Porro is still contracted to Sporting, Amorim will not hesitate to use the right-back and risk an injury which could see the entire move collapse.

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“Porro does not leave before the game,” Amorim said ahead of Saturday’s Allianz Cup final against Porto. “Clubs have to come first, and as far as I know, a player who is able to play and is signed up by a club, he has to go to games.

“I realise that [negotiations] involve a lot of players’ minds, but the indication I have is that Porro is fit, and the most important thing for me, as a manager, is that if he wasn’t there, there would be someone else. The game cannot be played with just one player. Porro is fit. Whatever has to happen will happen, we are prepared for all scenarios.”

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

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Amorim continued: “Is this Porro’s last game at the club? I don’t know. There are a few days left until February 1, then everyone will know if Porro stays or leaves.

“Porro hasn’t left yet. We are scouting, but not everything is easy, you’re in a real hurry to send Porro away!”

Spurs have repeatedly tried to lower Sporting’s asking price for Porro by including at least one player in the deal, but the Portuguese side have been clear about their determination to hold out for the right-back’s release clause – in full.





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