Brazil 1 Chile 0 (Half-time 0-0)

There was a distinct air of competitiveness about the weekend's supposed friendly between Brazil and Chile, a match played on 'neutral' ground at the Emirates Stadium. Brazil won the match 1-0 in the end thanks to Firmino's 73rd minute strike, but not before they had been subjected to some aggressive tackling and had replied in kind to the physical challenge themselves. A particular target for the Chilean attention was the Barcelona star Neymar, who must have thought that he had walked into a South American battle ground rather than a #Football stadium, especially in the early stages.

Brazil had entered the match on a high, after an impressive 3-1 victory away in France, maintaining their good run post-Rio 2014 and their much publicised travails at their home World Cup.

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Neymar had scored a crisp goal in that success and was evidently in good form. Chile had clearly decided that to stop Brazil, which was their initial intention, they had to firstly stop Neymar. Never mind that the match was billed as a friendly, the sides have the Copa America to come in June, a competition to be held in Chile. This was an opportunity to lay down some markers ahead of that and the teams were not going to waste the opportunity.

The crowd had come to be entertained by Latino flair, packing out the Emirates in their anticipation of witnessing both Neymar and Arsenal's own star player Alexis Sanchez showing their abilities. They instead saw an old school barroom brawl, as Neymar was fouled not once, but twice inside the early minutes. Miiko Albornoz was the culprit on both occasions and was duly booked for his efforts by the referee Martin Atkinson from England.

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It wasn't certain whether the crowd's screams were in delight at Neymar's trickery or because they were concerned for his wellbeing, as further fouls occurred on the Brazilian playmaker. One particularly nasty looking challenge from Gary Medel looked to have been missed by the officials, as he looked to stamp on Neymar's calf. The lack of perceived protection against the rough tactics being employed seemed to rile Neymar, as he too was booked before the break for trying to get his own back on the challengers.

Chances were at a premium during the physical onslaught and indeed for much of it, there seemed little chance of a decent game of football actually breaking out. Chile could perhaps have been forgiven in one respect for their attention to detail, having not beaten their rivals since 1993. After the break they demonstrated that they are capable of competing on the footballing front as well, utilising a handy combination of speed and strength. Chile maybe should have had two penalties, with both Pablo Hernandez and Isla looking to have been fouled in the area.

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In the end it was Brazil who just had the edge and maintained their hold over Chile, as a flowing move from the back, with Chelsea's Willian creating the distraction as he ran diagonally across the pitch, allowed Firmino to clinically score the decider.

Not a classic match for the purist then, but a typically hard-fought game for those who like to see a few meaty challenges. As for it being a 'friendly', maybe the sides should consult the definition of the word before they arrange such a fixture in future.