The match was heading towards a goalless draw just like it did between these sides in the Copa America last year, but Firmino tapped home from close range after Yordan Osorio accidentally headed the ball onto the Liverpool striker's path.
The victory preserves Brazil's perfect start to the qualifying campaign and they now climb above arch-rivals Argentina with nine points out of nine. Here are the ratings for all the Brazilian players.
Brazil Player Ratings
Ederson Moraes - 6.5/10
Venezuela had just four shots in the match, with only one on target, and that says everything you need to know how busy the Manchester City custodian must've been. Nevertheless, he'd be happy to have picked up a clean sheet for Brazil at last.
Danilo - 6.5/10
After a couple of assists last month, this was a quiet game for Danilo, who struggled to drive forward and get into good positions, let alone execute crosses.
Marquinhos - 7.5/10
The PSG star came up clutch with his defensive nous once again, making accurate passes and showing good positional sense. He expertly dispossessed Salomon Rondon early on with a crunching tackle before wonderfully clearing Yeferson Soteldo's cross inside the six-yard box.
Thiago Silva - 7.5/10
The veteran center-back ably complimented Marquinhos at the heart of Brazil's backline, bringing his expertise and leadership to the fore to snuff out danger. His aerial prowess was on show too, as successfully nodded away one corner kick and free kick each either side of half-time.
Renan Lodi - 7.5/10
The better full-back on the night, Lodi was sporadic in his bursts forward, but very effective, forcing a stop out of Wuilker Faríñez early on before feeding Gabriel Jesus with a brilliant near-post cross. However, his night ended in agony as he appeared to pick up a knock after clattering with Silva.
Everton Ribeiro - 7.5/10
He struggled to get past Venezuela's low block initially and also saw two efforts from free-kicks laid waste, but the Flamengo winger grew into the match as the game progressed. Brazil's second offside goal towards the end of the first half as well as Firmino's winning strike was created by him, as it was his cross that was inadvertently headed towards the Liverpool forward by Yordan Osorio.
Allan - 6.5/10
After creating one good chance for Firmino early on, Allan was largely anonymous. His box-to-box skills, which propelled him to stardom at Napoli, was nowhere to be seen and the Evertonian also misplaced a few passes in the second half.
Douglas Luiz - 6/10
Luiz was the poorest link in the midfield today. His passes were hopelessly miscued, while he also failed to track Jesus' run at one point which could've created a good chance for him. He even had a goal ruled out since Lodi was offside in the build-up. As he was on a yellow by half time, Tite opted to sub him off at the break.
Gabriel Jesus - 6.5/10
A frustrating return to the fold for Jesus, who was devoid of proper service for most of the match. He failed to connect with crosses aerially too and was taken off in the second half with 15 minutes to spare.
Richarlison - 6.5/10
The Evertonian had a goal disallowed and also created a goal that was also chalked off. Forced the error from Osorio which finally led to Firmino's breakthrough strike.
Roberto Firmino - 7/10
Up until the goal, Firmino well and truly struggled to impose himself in the match. He tested Farinez midway through the first half with a rasping shot and that was his only notable piece of the action in the match before showing up at the right place to tap home the winner.
Lucas Paqueta - 6/10
He got the most time of all the four substitutes, replacing Luiz at half-time, and yet, the former AC Milan midfielder failed to impress.
Pedro - 6/10
Pedro made his international debut for Brazil after coming on for Richarlison for the final quarter of the match but couldn't do much besides drawing a foul out of Tomas Rincon that sent the latter into the books.
Everton Soares - 6/10
He replaced Gabriel Jesus for the final 15 minutes of the match, but the Benfica forward brought precious little to the attack.
Alex Telles - N/A
The new Manchester United man didn't see much of the ball as he came on only in the final few seconds of the match.
Published 14 Nov 2020, 10:12 IST