PHILLIPE COUTINHO was on the score-sheet for Brazil as the World Cup favourites warmed up for the tournament by putting  Russia to the sword.

The former Liverpool star converted from the penalty spot for their second in a comfortable win against the tournament’s hosts in Moscow.

 Philippe Coutinho was on the scoresheet as Brazil romped to victory in Russia

Reuters

Philippe Coutinho was on the scoresheet as Brazil romped to victory in Russia

Despite not at their swashbuckling best Tite’s side strolled through most of the game in the stunning 82,000 Luzhniki stadium.

And five-time World Cup champions will fully expect to be back when it hosts the final on 15 July.

Brazil were laboured in the first-half but showed their class after the break with goals from Miranda, Coutinho and for Tottenham midfielder Paulinho.

Played at a walking pace early doors, the South American giants- without starman Neymar- soon stamped their authority on the game.

 Miranda opened the scoring at the Luzhniki Stadium

Reuters

Miranda opened the scoring at the Luzhniki Stadium
 Coutinho then added the second from the penalty spot

Reuters

Coutinho then added the second from the penalty spot

Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus latched onto Danil Alves’ pass to beat the offside trap after five minutes but was denied by Russian keeper Igor Akinfeev.

The hosts seemed to miss the brief of the game being a friendly and got stuck into the Brazilians with hefty challenges.


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Left-back Marcelo was scythed down by Denis Glushakov – and the rough tactics had the effect as Russia soon grew into the game.

Aleksnadr Samedov forced Alisson Becker into a smart save while Aleksei Miranchuk blazed well over from 10-yards with the goal gaping.

Brazil took over after half-time though and went ahead after 53 minutes through the unlikely source of Miranda.

Akinfeev had pulled off two great saves from Paulinho and Philippe Coutinho before his goal was breached by the Internazionale centre back.

Thiago Silva’s header was parried but only into the path of Miranda, 33, who smashed home from close-range.

 Fellow Barcelona star Paulinho grabbed the third goal for the Samba Boys

AFP

Fellow Barcelona star Paulinho grabbed the third goal for the Samba Boys

Akinfeev –who has picked up 103 caps for Russia- was in fine form and the goal was harsh on him after he had single-handedly kept Brazil out.

The CSKA Moscow stopper made another save from the hapless Paulinho from five-yards out but he could do nothing for Brazil’s second.

Aleksandr Golovin unsubtly hauled down Paulinho, 29, from behind before former Liverpool star Phillipe Coutinho sent Akinfeev the wrong way from the spot.

The former Spurs star finally got onto the scoresheet after spurning a number of chances however.

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Chelsea’s Willian showed exquisite skill in the box before teeing up Paulinho to head home unopposed.

The game lost its intensity after Brazil’s third however due to a raft of changes from both sides.

Russia were well in the game at half-time but the visitors were nowhere near their best.

But as soon as Brazil got into their stride there was only one winner, and the world will watch on with trepidation at the damage they could cause when in full swing.

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