City duo Elano and Robinho tame Italy

Robinho, right, is congratulated by Brazil team-mates after his magic unhinged Italy in the prestige friendly.
Manchester City duo Elano and Robinho fired Brazil to a 2-0 victory in their prestige friendly international against world champions Italy at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

More than 60,000 fans saw Elano open the scoring after 13 minutes with Robinho finding the target on 27 in an encounter that brought an end to Italy coach Marcello Lippi’s unbeaten run. Lippi suffered a first loss with Italy in 32 games since defeat against Slovenia during his first spell in charge in 2004. Robinho opened the way for Brazil to take the lead in the first meeting between the global giants for 12 years with a superb pass for midfielder Elano to fire beyond goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. Elano backheeled the ball to Robinho, who instantly returned it for his City team-mate to muscle his way past several Azzurri defenders before unleashing a shot into the bottom right corner. Striker Robinho then banked his 19th goal for Brazil after stealing the ball from Andrea Pirlo who had intercepted a cross from the returning Ronaldinho. Robinho weaved his way past three players before firing beyond Gianluigi Buffon’s outstretched hand and into the bottom right corner. Pirlo looked to have set up an opener for Italy early on when he found Fabio Grosso who was adjudged offside as he volleyed past Julio Cesar. Daniele De Rossi went close for Italy in the 35th minute when the keeper produced a superb save and there was more frustration midway through the second half when Luca Toni’s ‘goal’ was ruled out for handball. Julio Cesar pulled off another stunning stop three minutes from time to keep out Simone Perrotta’s free-kick and ensure Brazil kept a clean sheet.