PLAYER RATINGS: Richarlison (8.5) showed predatory instincts
Brazil started their World Cup campaign in high style with their 2-0 win over Serbia on Thursday night.
Richarlison was the star of the show for the favorites to lift the trophy in Qatar, scoring a brace, the second of which was a brilliant overhead kick.
The Serbs dug in but were unable to produce much in attack and Mladenovic was especially toothless.
Here, sportsmaime runs the rule on each player and rates them out of 10.
Brazil kicked off their World Cup campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Serbia
Alison, 6 – The Liverpool goalkeeper had very little to do all night. His calm presence certainly helped his defenders, but he was one of the easiest clean sheets of his career.
Marquinhos, 7 – The central defender directed the troops well and read the game excellently. Any idea that he would fight under aerial bombardment was incorrect.
Thiago Silva 6.5 – He reflected his teammate’s defensive work, he never looked nervous.
Alex Sandro, 7 – A solid performance all around, but lacked any creative spark despite the outlets in front of him. Potentially the only area of weakness in this Brazil side is wing-back, but Sandro dealt with everything thrown at him.
Daniel, 6 – Like Sandro, offered little on the front foot but was solid when called upon on defense.
Casemiro, 8 – The Manchester United midfielder had a bit of everything in his game. He usually split the game well, but he also offered an advantage going forward. He came within inches of a wonderful goal, but his shot bounced off the crossbar.
Casemiro was a force to be reckoned with in midfield for Brazil
Lucas Paqueta, 6.5 – A spirited performance in midfield but struggled with physicality for the Serbs in the first half, much more effective when play opened up.
Neymar, 7 – Physically intimidated but didn’t help himself, picking up the ball too deep and not being able to make the most of his free role. The famously unbelievable first touch deserted him at times and he missed a great free-kick opportunity. He will be desperate for good news about the ankle injury.
Raphael, 6 – The Barcelona man will be secretly furious about his own display even though the team wins. He was so wasteful in front of goal and lacked composure at key moments. A tame effort to the goalkeeper’s throat and a missed one-on-one leaves him vulnerable to being taken down with so much firepower on the bench.
Raphinha was frustrated by Milinkovic-Savic on more than one occasion and it was a waste
Vinicius Jr, 7.5 – He looked like the fastest player on the field by a field mile and seemed to be the only attacking threat in the first half. He missed a decent chance that he created for himself, but his deflected shot led to the first goal.
Richarlison, 8.5 – Clear man of the match and justified his selection ahead of Gabriel Jesus. Put a score for the tournament and the second from him will live long in memory. The Tottenham man is a fierce competitor and offers plenty of build play to go along with his cutting edge.
The second goal of the Brazilian striker will remain forever in the memory and it was superb
V Milinkovic-Savic, 7 – Serbia kept in the game with some important saves, particularly at the beginning of the first half, saving a one-on-one with Raphinha. Vinicius stopped Richarlison’s effort for the first goal.
pavlovic6 – He kept Raphinha calm most of the time and managed the Barcelona man well, even if the winger found space on occasion.
Milenkovic, 6 – Imposing presence at the back and he barely put a wrong foot in, there was little he could do for the two goals but like those around him, he was overwhelmed.
Nikola Milenkovic was a great presence at the back, but found it difficult in the second half.
Veljkovic, 6.5 – Put your body into play and the score could have been worse without your blocks.
Gudelj, 6 – The Sevilla player was excellent for the most part, but the yellow card he received slightly lessened his impact by reducing his risk.
Zivkovic, 5 – Worked almost exclusively in a defensive capacity and was unable to help Serbia advance down the pitch when needed.
Tadic, 5 – The Ajax man is the most technically gifted player on his team, but he made almost no impact on the game and his serve to forwards was essentially non-existent.
Dusan Tadic watched the game go by and had very little impact on the proceedings.
Luke, 6 – Was a heat-seeking missile at Neymar at times and submitted him for the most part.
Milinkovic-Savic, 5 – The Lazio man needed to offer more threat in attack and Casemiro treated him well.
Mladenovic, 5.5 – A brutal performance, if a little reckless at times. He got a yellow card early on but it didn’t stop him from spinning.
Mitrovic, 5 – If his name on the squad sheet worried the Brazilian defenders, they shouldn’t have worried. Hungry for service but unable to deliver a great start or make the ball stick, the main goal threat provided very little of note.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (right) had little impact on the game and his serve was limited