Willian rejects 'defensive' Brazil claims after shining in Mexico victory

Brazil v Mexico Five-time winners must overcome El Tri persistence to keep World Cup bid alive

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The last time Mexico reached the quarterfinals was when the country hosted the tournament in 1986.

Mexico's defender Edson Alvarez (R) fouls Brazil's forward Neymar during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Brazil and Mexico at the Samara Arena in Samara on July 2, 2018.

It's fair to say we've seen the good and the bad of him in equal measure out in Russian Federation and it's a pity he isn't being talked about purely for football reasons. Going past the Brazilian full-back was never a problem for Vela. The same tactic worked wonders for the team when they defeated Germany in the group stage.

Mexico were mesmerising in the opening 20 minutes, so good that Tite had a concerned look on his face.

Despite calls to replace the goal-shy Jesus with Liverpool's Roberto Firmino, Tite sees no reason to do so given they haven't lost a competitive game which Jesus has started.

Neymar would be a better player "if he dedicated himself more to playing football", according to Mexico's Miguel Layun.

It was goalless at half-time but it looked as if Brazil will make an impact soon.

Neymar cut an isolated figure during Brazil's disjointed start, but he exploded into life after 25 minutes, racing past Edson Alvarez in the area and forcing Ochoa into a smart save with his left hand.

He laid it off for Willian and darted into the box, stretching to convert the Chelsea midfielder's superb delivery.

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Now, for all the talent of Neymar, he has an exceptional game sense.

As social media platforms exploded with fans angrily accusing Neymar of cheating, former England striker Alan Shearer described the Paris Saint-Germain star as "absolutely pathetic". Osorio had vowed on Sunday that Mexico wouldn't stop attacking Brazil but he was also vary of the goal-scoring threats posed by Brazil.

Neymar was asked about Osorio's comments but it was the moment Tite took charge.

When it comes to Neymar, if you blink, you invariably miss it. The theatrics he brings onto the field might actually give a complex to a professional stage actor.

The incident was clearly meant to wind Neymar up, and Layun was lucky to escape punishment. The Mexican picked up the ball with his foot on Neymar's ankle.

Yet his antics were not the most-talked about in the World Cup last week. The referee and the VAR saw nothing malicious and no card was shown to Layun.

Neymar went through the entire repertoire, flailing and feigning before eventually staying upright long enough to open the scoring.

Neymar certainly showed that edge at the Samara Arena on Monday. It is the truest thing he could have said and, you suspect, something of which he may yet remind his prodigy before the next stage of his quest for the World Cup trophy he craves. "It's very hard to come back the way he's done". Their positioning skills when their opponents attacked ensured there was no trouble in clearing the danger. Paulinho, who makes those surging runs through the centre, was forced to be in line with Casemiro, who sits ahead of the defence.

Despite a great effort from Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa that was reminiscent of his otherworldly performance against Brazil in the 2014 World Cup, El Tri didn't have the players to compete with Brazil on that day.

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