Copa America 2019: Brazil 2-0 Argentina - 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis
Brazil cruised past their eternal rivals, Argentina at Belo Horizonte to book a place in the Copa America 2019 final. The hosts got the better of their rivals with a 2-0 score-line and were full value for their victory.
The game was scrappy throughout as both teams adopted a slightly physical style of play. A plethora of fouls disrupted the flow of the game and that meant that both teams never really got a good foothold in the match.
However, the game was not completely devoid of breath-taking action. On a couple of occasions, the hosts sparked to life and that was enough to take them past a poor Argentine side.
Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring in the 19th minute after Roberto Firmino found him expertly in the box. The roles were reversed in the 2nd half when the former blazed past his opponents to set his strike partner up for an easy finish.
Though Argentina struck the post on a few occasions, they simply couldn’t sustain their level of performance. Consequently, they surrendered without making a proper fist of the contest.
Here is a look at the talking points from the game:
#5 Argentina produce a dreadful first half
A lot had been said and written about Argentina before the 2019 Copa America started proper. Several believed that the team lacked the requisite quality to challenge their continental counterparts. And a dreadful first half performance against Brazil later, one couldn’t help but wonder if those notions weren’t too far off the mark.
Many a time, the visitors enjoyed possession in their own half. Yet, the lack of movement in midfield meant that they had to pass the ball around the back without actually moving forward. To compound their woes, they weren’t too adept at holding onto the ball. Nicolas Otamendi contrived to give away possession cheaply on at least a couple of occasions while his defensive partner, German Pezzella also looked extremely uncomfortable with the ball at his feet.
Moreover, the midfield pairing of Leandro Paredes and Rodrigo de Paul struggled to fizz the ball with any intent and were rather content to pass sideways. The above meant that Lionel Messi had to drop deep and initiate proceedings. However, with him dropping deep, the space between the lines was left unexploited. Additionally, the Brazilians doubled up on the Argentine and isolated him completely.
La Albiceleste weren’t helped by the static nature of their play as well. The players in the middle and offensive third were guilty of not providing those behind them with enough options. Thus, their approach play looked lethargic, listless and lackadaisical.
Defensively, the away side were all over the shop, especially during the concession of the first goal. Dani Alves scythed through the heart of their midfield and each of their defenders got sucked to the ball. Otamendi found himself on the left wing when the ball was shifted out to Roberto Firmino. The aforementioned meant that Gabriel Jesus was accorded the freedom of the penalty box to smash home the opener.
Argentina already had a steep mountain to climb coming into the game. Yet, they conspired to make their task much tougher with an abysmal first half showing.