Tite’s men produced a fine display, inspired by Philippe Coutinho, to make the last 16 and set up a clash with Mexico
It’s taken two weeks, but Brazil have well and truly arrived at the World Cup.
On a night when they needed a result to ensure their progression was in their own hands, they produced a dominant and stylish display to truly announce themselves at the tournament.
Paulinho prodded home after a succulent Philippe Coutinho ball over the top to open the scoring at the end of the first-half.
Despite some Serbia pressure after the break, Thiago Silva was on hand to double his side’s total, heading home emphatically from a corner.
1. Tite believes in Jesus
What does Roberto Firmino have to do for a start in this Brazil team?
Despite a lacklustre opening two games from Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus, he was still given the nod ahead of Firmino to lead the line for this crucial fixture.
Perhaps Tite believes that Firmino’s style to drop a little off the last man to collect the ball and have more of a playmaking influence will clash with Neymar.
Or perhaps he sees Jesus simply a bigger goal threat given his mentality to consistently get into the six-yard box.
Either way, Firmino will no doubt be frustrated that he cannot get into the team after the stunnign season which he has just had.
2. Even when they’re Weaker, they’re not
Brazil lost Marcelo to what appeared to be illness just 12 minutes into this crucial clash.
With most teams, losing one of your biggest personalities and influential players in a make-or-break game would be a devastating blow.
Not for Brazil.
The power of having strength in depth was laid bare when they were simply able to wave Atletico Madrid’s Felipe Luis off the bench and slide him in at full-back.
3. Brazil showed glimpses of their best
This World Cup has brought plenty of cries of “it’s anyone’s to win” after early stutters from the competition’s favourites.
But if Brazil play like they did in the first half and find consistency in those performances across every game from now until the final, they will win it.
Tite’s men appeared to find their swag again. The first 45 minutes was not too far off their swashbuckling best.
Neymar was kicked but they still could not stop him, Coutinho’s quality was devine and defensively they were as solid as they come.