Brazil played Russia on Monday night at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge in London, with FCB’s Dani Alves among the starters, playing at left back in the side managed by Luiz Felipe Scolari. He made several of his trademark runs up the wing, and even took a corner kick at one point. But all round, Brazil’s performance was not up to the standard the people back home will be demanding, with the country hosting the World Cup in the summer of 2014.

Fabio Capello’s Russia played a solid defensive game that Brazil struggled to deal with, and despite not creating too many chances, the Eastern Europeans finally went ahead following a long move in the Brazil penalty area that was finished off by Fayzulin. That looked to have been enough to seal victory, but in the final minute of regulation time, Fred culminated a good move by Marcelo to grab an equaliser. That was the second of Brazil’s draws in Europe this week, following a friendly that ended 2-2 with Italy a few days previously.

Win for Spain U21

Russia were also the opposition for Spain’s U21 side at the Santo Domingo in Alcorcón on Monday night in a friendly to prepare for the U21 European Championship in Israel, in which these two sides have been drawn in the same first round group. Barça were represented by all of Montoya, Bartra, Thiago and Deulofeu in Julen Lopetegui’s starting eleven, while Tello and Muniesa came on later. Carles Planas sat the game out through injury.

Bartra played at centre back, Montoya as an attacking winger, Thiago, wearing the captain’s armband, was the central playmaker, and Deulofeu proved incisive in attack. It was a pass from the latter that led to Rodrigo’s 38th minute goal, but the FCB striker’s place was taken by Tello after the break.

Thiago gets decider

Yakovlev equalised for Russia early in the second half, but in the 70th minute Muniain put Spain back ahead with a fine effort from the edge of the area. Marc Muniesa came on just after Spain’s second and earned some valuable playing time, and in injury time, Barça’s Thiago secured the win from the penalty spot. It all ended 3-1 to Spain U21.