Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Robinho 2 - 0 Given

Mark Hughes' best and worst value for money signings went head to head tonight in an international friendly at the Emirates. And it was the £32.5m man who came out on top. Brazil won 2-0 and both goals came from our very own Santos FC's Robson de Souza.

It wasn't a great match and Brazil never got going. They're set up to counter-attack through Robinho and Kaká but in the first half they could only run into the Keith Andrews-Glenn Whelan wall in midfield.

But they went ahead just before half time: Kaká put in Robinho down the right hand side, and he whipped in a cross that Andrews diverted past Shay Given. I don't know whether it's an own goal but Robinho's not exactly the sort to decline to celebrate lest he later lose the goal to the dubious goals panel.

Brazil improved in the second half, playing possession football in opposition territory. Robinho had one goal disallowed after Grafite robbed Paul McShane and then missed a great chance after Kaká did the same to Andrews.

He made up for these when he finished off the game's stand-out move. It started further back but it climaxed with an interchange between Kaká and Grafite before Robinho played a one-two with the Wolfsburg striker and scored with one of those perfectly placed side-foot finishes of his, beyond the sprawling Given.

He then went off for Nilmar, and the game finished 2-0. City legends Richard Dunne and Elano were both injured for the tie, while City's Greg Cunningham was on the Irish bench.