Blues trio start but Brazil are beaten

Brazil were unable to bounce back from their semi-final disappointment as they were beaten 3-0 by the Netherlands in the World Cup third-place play-off.

All eyes were on the hosts following their 7-1 defeat to Germany in midweek, but they started the game in the worst possible manner, falling a goal behind inside the opening two minutes.

Former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben exposed the Brazilian defence and he was hauled down by the returning Thiago Silva.

The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot and Robin Van Persie dispatched the resulting kick, with Silva fortunate to escape dismissal.

Willian was handed his first start of the competition for the home side, alongside Chelsea team-mates Ramires and Oscar, and the trio combined soon after as Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side attempted to restore parity.

Willian released Oscar down the left-hand side; his cross was a teasing one but Ramires, under pressure from two defenders, was unable to find the required touch.

Louis van Gaal’s side extended their advantage after just 16 minutes when Daley Blind pounced on a headed David Luiz clearance and lashed his strike into the roof of the net. It was Blind’s first international goal and his father, Danny, a member of the Dutch coaching staff, couldn’t contain his delight on the bench.

Ramires went close for Brazil early in the second half when he shifted the ball out of his feet quickly and fizzed a shot inches wide, but the midfielder’s evening was brought to an end 21 minutes from time when he was replaced by Hulk as Scolari’s side chased the game.

Oscar was the player who looked most like dragging the hosts back into the game, and the Chelsea attacker should have been awarded a penalty when he was clearly brought down inside the box by Blind. The referee, however, had other ideas and, much to the frustration of the Brazilian players, booked the number 11 for simulation.

Brazil’s misery was compounded, though, in added time when Georginio Wijnaldum rounded off a quick Netherlands break, sweeping home from close range to make it 3-0.

Andre Schurrle’s Germany take on Argentina in tomorrow’s final.