Chelsea winger Willian scored after 40 seconds and added a second just before the break as Brazil beat Venezuela 3-1 to pocket their first points in South American qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.

After their 2-0 defeat to Chile last week, Brazil, again without the suspended Neymar, raced out of the blocks at the Castelao in Fortaleza and Willian slotted home between Velezuela goalkeeper Alain Baroja and his near post.

Three minutes before halftime the midfielder doubled Brazil’s lead. Defender Filipe Luis crossed the ball, Oscar let it run and Willian tucked it away.

Venezuela pulled one back in the 64th minute when Christian Santos turned the ball into the net at a corner but striker Ricardo Oliveira restored Brazil’s two-goal cushion nine minutes later, ghosting in behind defender Fernando Amorebieta and stooping to head past Baroja.


It was a timely win for Dunga’s Brazil ahead of their visit to Buenos Aires next month to play arch-rivals Argentina, who have yet to score in two games.

The 2014 World Cup finalists were stunned 2-0 by Ecuador in their opener and held 0-0 in Paraguay on Tuesday.

  • 1/6

    Asmir Begovic: B

    Despite being signed in the summer mainly as a back-up option to first-choice shot-stopper Courtois, Begovic has been superb when utilised by Mourinho – particular following the injury to the Belgian.

    The fact that Chelsea have the second-worst defensive records in the Premier League at the moment is more down to the Blues’ back line faltering than Begovic doing badly in goal.

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  • 2/6

    Papy Djilobodji: N/A

    The centre-back only had a few minutes to impress in Chelsea’s win over Walsall, and so it is difficult to assess how well he has done.

    Getty

  • 3/6

    Radamel Falcao: D

    Despite doubts over whether he had the ability to find his goalscoring form following a torrid season-long loan at Manchester United last term, Mourinho’s faith in Falcao has not yet paid off.

    On the one hand, the striker hasn’t exactly had the game time to really get into the rhythm of things at his new club but when he has started for Chelsea, the Colombian hasn’t appeared confident and clinical in front of goal.

    Against Walsall in the Capital One Cup, for example, Falcao looked rusty – perhaps as a result of a lack of minutes on the pitch – but despite that showing, the striker has opened his account for the Blues with a fine diving header in Chelsea’s 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace in September.

    (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

  • 4/6

    Kenedy: C

    The forward has only played one full game for Chelsea since arriving from Fluminense this summer, but in the match with Walsall, the Brazilian shone – scoring a fine goal and looking positive throughout.

  • 5/6

    Pedro: D

    After arriving to much fanfare from European holders Barcelona in August, Pedro has endured a mixed start to life at Chelsea.

    His impact from the right wing was felt as early as the Spaniard’s first game for the Blues when he inspired Mourinho’s side to a 3-2 victory away to West Brom days after signing for the Blues – scoring once and setting up another in the game.

    But Pedro’s impact has begun to wane since that match, which perhaps has in part been down to a minor injury he sustained last month, and the 28-year-old has failed to show the kind of form that he demonstrated against West Brom.

    However, Pedro has certainly demonstrated a high work rate during games, but will be looking to convert that output into an end product such as goals and assists.

  • 6/6

    Baba Rahman: C

    The left-back played the full 90 minutes in Chelsea’s Champions League win over Maccabi Tel Aviv last month and impressed on his debut after defending well and also regularly getting involved in the Blues’ attacking play.

    He followed up that showing with another positive display against Walsall in the Capital One Cup, which has already demonstrated he is a good back-up option to Cesar Azpilicueta should Mourinho decide to rest or play the Spaniard at right-back.

Dunga will be able to call on Neymar for that match after he completed his suspension from the Copa America, while Argentina will hope Lionel Messi recovers from an injury that has kept him out of their two qualifiers so far. 

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