Oscar proved he can complement Cesc Fabregas in World Cup opener

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Chelsea fans tuning in with one billion other frenzied football fans to tonight's World Cup opener between Brazil and Croatia were treated to a dazzling display from Selecao star Oscar, who shone in an unfamiliar wide role and proved he can complement new Stamford Bridge star Cesc Fabregas with aplomb.

Oscar started in an advanced position on the right-hand side that caught everyone by surprise as Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari shuffled his trio of attacking playmakers into different positions, all so talisman Neymar could start in a central role and play in the space behind Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

Neymar will dominate the back-page headlines across the planet on Friday morning and rightly so after bagging a brace which has takes him to an astonishing 33 goals in 50 games for Brazil, but it was the industry, awareness and ability to pick a pass that made Oscar the stand-out player on the pitch all night long.

The 22-year-old engaged in a brilliant battle with stand-in Croatia full-back Sime Vrsaljko that caught the eye throughout 90 hectic minutes, but it was the Chelsea superstar who continually worked in tandem with Neymar and drove his side forward after a difficult start.

Oscar created more chances than any other Brazilian on the pitch, with only Luka Modric eclipsing him in that respect from a deeper role, while also easily the best of the entire 26 who featured in Sao Paulo in terms of take-on stats.

Quite simply Oscar had the dynamism and drive to beat his marker on a consistent basis and got round his marker seven times, including one clever first touch and quick curling cross which deserved far better than a wayward header from David Luiz, all while Neymar lurked waiting to complete his hat-trick.

His supply line was consistent and made sure Brazil only trailed for 17 minutes following Marcelo's own goal, picking a pass which gave Neymar enough to arrow an underwhelming but accurate equaliser inside the far corner.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho demands an absolutely relentless work-rate from his wide men, but Oscar also showed he has that attribute in abundance, tracking to complete four out of six tackles and making a bigger contribution in that regard than any Brazil star bar Dani Alves.

Mourinho has quickly moved to replace Chelsea legend Frank Lampard with a proven Premier League commodity in Fabregas, but Oscar's display tonight, capped by a late goal which showed all his dazzling mix of clever and cunning with a cheeky toe-poke effort from range, shows he must not be forgotten in a summer revolution at Stamford Bridge.

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World Cup
Francesc Fabregas
Premier League

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