Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in a friendly in Australia on Friday as Jorge Sampaoli won his first game in charge.
Sevilla’s Gabriel Mercado scored the winner at the MCG and, here, we look at five things we learned from the game and what is next for the nations.
TITE HAS STILL TURNED BRAZIL AROUND
Manager Tite, a former Corinthians players and head coach, took charge of Brazil after Dunga’s second spell as boss ended in disaster.
Brazil had failed to qualify from the group stages of the Copa America in 2016 and were lacking confidence.
Before Friday, Tite had won all of his nine games and Brazil lead the South American qualifying section by 11 points ahead of Colombia, after being sixth when he took over, with the streak of wins securing them a place at next summer’s World Cup.
Despite defeat against Argentina they played with confidence and verve and it seems Tite has brought Brazil’s swagger back.
SAMPAOLI HAS MADE AN INSTANT IMPACT
Argentina turned to Sampaoli last month after just one season at Sevilla and he would have been encouraged by his first game in charge. His team are fourth in qualifying for next year’s World Cup and in danger of missing the tournament in Russia completely.
Three coaches in the campaign tells its own story after Gerardo Martino and Edgardo Bauza tried and failed to get their campaign up and running.
His old Sevilla defender Gabriel Mercado got him off the mark and Sampaoli will hope victory can give them a platform to rescue their World Cup hopes.
MESSI’S SCHEDULE HAS TAKEN ITS TOLL
The Barcelona forward was back from suspension after missing the 2-0 defeat to Bolivia in March which cost Bauza his job.
Messi was on a promotional tour in China last week and jetted in separately from the squad to join his team-mates in Australia.
He scored 54 goals in 52 games for Barcelona last season but looked a little jaded at the MCG as Brazil kept him relatively quiet in the first half.
Messi has been a key player for Argentina, having retired and then quickly backtracked last year, but he could not make the difference on Friday.
GABRIEL JESUS SHINES WITH SERGIO AGUERO MISSING
Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus was Brazil’s biggest goal threat and arguably should have scored instead of hitting the post in the second half.
The 20-year-old scored seven goals in 10 games in the Premier League last season after his January arrival, and he will only get better.
Against Argentina he proved his talent and showed he is Aguero’s heir apparent at Manchester City.
Sampaoli has not ruled out an Argentina return for Aguero, who was left out of this squad, but Jesus showed he is the future at City.
A GOALKEEPING POWER BATTLE IN MANCHESTER
Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero played the full game for Argentina as new Manchester City signing Ederson watched on from the Brazil bench.
Should David De Gea leave Old Trafford this summer, then Romero – who made several key stops on Friday – looks destined for the number one spot. That would leave two of South America’s best goalkeepers playing out next season as cross-city rivals.
Provided by Press Association