The World Cup got off to a dramatic start as Brazil defeated Croatia 3-1 in the opening Group A game.
After years of planning the showpiece, the prestigious event finally got underway and the Brazilian faithful will have been delighted with the opening result in Group A.
While ‘poster boy’ Neymar stole the show with his brace, Chelsea’s attacking midfielder Oscar received plenty of plaudits for his mesmeric performance in São Paulo. The midfield orchestrator ran the show and while he was deployed in the slightly less favoured role of right-wing, his license to roam proved dividends and may just prove fruitful for Jose Mourinho next season, as well.
Oscar was primarily deployed through the heart of the park under Jose Mourinho and the Brazilian was more often than not preferred in a triumvirate which included Eden Hazard and Willian.
However, with the signing of Cesc Fabregas announced on Thursday, Oscar will look to work in tandem with the Spanish midfield dictator and with Nemanja Matic’s prowess in the middle of the park, Chelsea may just hold a menacing look to their XI next season.
As the game grew on in South America, Oscar began to find his feet more and more. The Chelsea midfielder was lambasted by many for his failure to remain turned on for the back-end of games in the Premier League last season. However, he put those doubts to one side by raising his game.
His Squawka Performance Score rose throughout and eventually he ended with a number of 60, highlighting that he has a lot more than initially thought in his tank.
While the acquisition of the silky Fabregas will help Chelsea dissect through stubborn defences, an asset they lacked at times last season, Oscar proved against Croatia that he possesses lethal weapons in his armoury.
With Matic playing the role of Luis Gustavo back in west London, it provides the the Brazilian star with the ability to roam between the opposition lines. His ability to interchange with Fabregas and co. provides the star to produce ammunition for the Chelsea striker – perhaps Diego Costa.
Oscar created three chances against Croatia on Thursday night and he was instrumental in instigating the Brazilians’ turnaround, completing seven take ons, more than any other player on the pitch.
Scolari utilised Oscar on the right-hand side to assist Alves going backwards, but going forwards the Chelsea man tormented the Croatia back-line.
He was constantly moving inwards, which will work wonders with Cesc Fabregas preferring to play the ‘free role’ wherever he plays. Oscar’s tactical nous, coupled with his hardworking persona, means he is more than capable of playing in a system that involves Matic and Fabregas, and still be able to cause trouble for opposition defenders.
His astute hold-up play against Croatia was evident in the fact he had an 83% pass accuracy and while his fancy footwork let him down in the first quarter of an hour, he showcased his swash-buckling side – winning 67% of his tackles.
With Brazil and Chelsea’s midfield metronome in such scintillating form for his countries opening World Cup game, Jose Mourinho will be licking his lips at the sight of next season.
With Nemanja Matic playing the anchor role and Fabregas brought in to add some much needed quality in the middle of the park, Oscar may just thrive off it, like he did with Luis Gustavo and Paulinho in the Brazil side.