Brazil sailed into the quarter-finals of the World Cup after hammering hopeless South Korea 4-1 at Stadium 974 on Monday night.

Tite’s side were phenomenal from start to finish, while the Asian minnows were the exact opposite. Goals from Vinicius Junior, Neymar, Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta saw Brazil establish a 4-0 lead at half-time, with Paik Seung-ho pulling one back after the break.

Brazil will face Croatia on Friday for a place in the semi-finals of the tournament in Qatar after Zlatko Dalic’s side defeated Japan on penalties in Monday’s early game. Here are the main talking points from Brazil’s statement victory.

Neymar makes comeback

Brazilians feared the worst when Neymar picked up an injury during their World Cup opener against Serbia. The Paris Saint-Germain forward’s ankle was the size of a cricket ball after he suffered the knock, leaving his participation in the tournament in doubt.

Yet Neymar handed Tite a boost ahead of Monday’s game by passing a fitness test. That allowed the Brazil boss to deploy an ultra-attacking starting XI that included Richarlison, Vinicius, Paqueta, Raphinha and Neymar. Not ideal for the South Koreans.

Brazil’s quality shines through

Vinicius Junior scored Brazil’s opening goal ( Getty Images)

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Tite’s side needed just seven minutes to find the net. It was a lovely move, as Raphinha danced past two defenders before drilling a menacing ball into the middle. Neymar failed to get on the end of the cross, but that just allowed Vinicius to take advantage.

The Real Madrid forward took a touch, stroked the ball past goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu and danced with his team-mates in celebration. The goal felt inevitable, as if Monday was going to be a very long night for South Korea. That turned out to be the case.

Richarlison settles it

Richarlison played a key role in Brazil’s second and third goals ( Getty Images)

Brazil have Richarlison to thank for ending South Korea’s hopes in the first half. Firstly, the Tottenham man nipped in front of Jung Woo-young in the box to snatch the ball and draw a foul. Neymar, on his return to the starting XI, calmly converted the penalty.

Then came a moment of Brazilian brilliance. Richarlison juggled the ball on his head before taking it down and playing it into the feet of Marquinhos. The PSG defender found Thiago Silva, who played a first-time pass back to Richarlison to split the defence.

At that point, all Richarlison had to do was finish the move and dance in celebration. That’s exactly what he did, with even Tite – at 61 years young – showing off his samba moves! “He’s going to have to work on it,” joked Ally McCoist on commentary.

Merciless South Americans

Lucas Paqueta’s goal summed up Brazil’s dominance ( Getty Images)

Brazil refused to show mercy as the game approached half-time. The fourth man to score was Paqeuta, who finished off a ridiculously-good counter-attack from Tite’s side. South Korea knew they were in trouble when Neymar found Vinicius on the left flank.

The latter, in typical Brazilian style, scooped the ball into the air for Paqueta to volley into the bottom corner. In England, we often say “it’s like watching Brazil” when a team is playing well. Well, on Monday night, we were treated to the real deal.

Legend makes history

Dani Alves created more history on Monday ( Getty Images)

Brazil’s dominance allowed Tite to give Dani Alves a historic run out in the second half. The right-back, who plays for Mexican side UNAM, became the second-most capped player in Brazil’s history with 126 senior appearances and their oldest World Cup player at 39.

Alves is still 16 caps away from equalling Cafu’s record of 142 senior appearances. He’s never won the World Cup and will be hoping 2022 is his year.

Comfortable conclusion

The second half wasn’t as pulsating as the first, seeing as Brazil’s quarter-final spot was all but confirmed. There were still a handful of noteworthy moments, though, including Alisson’s superb one-handed save to deny Wolves striker Hwang Hee-chan.

The Liverpool goalkeeper didn’t manage to keep a clean sheet thanks to Paik’s deflected long-range effort, which pulled one back for South Korea. Alisson was then subbed for Weverton to allow the Palmeiras goalkeeper to make his World Cup debut, meaning every member of Brazil’s squad 26-player squad has featured in Qatar.

There were no more goals after Paik’s strike, much to South Korea’s relief. Croatia were delighted after their victory against Japan, but they’ll be fearing the worst ahead of Friday.