Chile have announced Reinaldo Rueda's tenure as coach has come to an end following an underwhelming start to World Cup qualification. 

Rueda had been in the post since early 2018, replacing Juan Antonio Pizzi after he failed to lead the team to the 2018 World Cup. 

Chile lost their Copa America crown under Rueda in 2019, having won each of the previous two editions, though they did get to the semi-finals. 

But Rueda's spell in charge has been largely unimpressive, with the team winning just nine of his 27 matches in charge, suffering 10 defeats. 

Rueda leaves Chile having only been able to accumulate four points from as many games at the start of qualification for the 2022 World Cup. 

His final game was the 2-1 defeat away to Venezuela on November 17.

Arthur revelled in his first international goal after helping Brazil continue their perfect start to World Cup qualifying with a win over Uruguay.

The Juventus midfielder's deflected effort opened the scoring in the 34th minute in Montevideo, where Richarlison doubled the lead and Edinson Cavani later saw red for the hosts on Tuesday.

Tite's men made it four wins from four to begin World Cup 2022 qualifying, while extending their unbeaten run against Uruguay to 11 games.

After scoring his first goal in Brazil colours, Arthur was delighted to contribute for his national team.

"I think it was essential to score this goal. For me, the most important thing is to play well and be able to help the team," he said.

"The goal was good to consolidate my performance and help our team. Professor Tite is always watching everyone."

Through four games, Brazil are two points clear of rivals Argentina in CONMEBOL qualifying.

Arthur said Tite's side were targeting top spot in the gruelling qualifying campaign.

"Our goal is this [to win qualifying]. We are working hard in search of our goal," he said.

"We always have something to improve. We did not enter thinking that we are unbeaten because each game is different and difficult.

"We are on a good path, we trust the technical committee and they trust us. Now it is time to continue working and seeking this qualification for the World Cup."

Brazil started their campaign with wins over Bolivia (5-0) and Peru (4-2), but were challenged this month in victories against Venezuela (1-0) and Uruguay.

Tite said his side, whose next outings are against Colombia and Argentina in March, had to get used to different types of games.

"I feel that the team is consolidating, rolling, maturing, feeling the difficulties, reacting on top of the difficulties," he said.

"You don't dominate the game all the time. You have to control the opponent."

Lionel Messi praised Argentina's performance against Peru and believes they are only getting stronger.

Nicolas Gonzalez and Lautaro Martinez scored first-half goals in Lima on Tuesday, lifting Lionel Scaloni's men to a third win in four World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

Argentina extended their unbeaten run to 11 games, while they have won their past three away qualifiers – something they had not achieved since 2000.

Messi was pleased with Argentina's display, which came five days after their draw at home to Paraguay.

"Happy with the victory, we needed it after the game we played the other day," the star said, via Argentina's Twitter account.

"From the beginning we had a great match, the goals came and we created many, many chances."

Messi added: "The second half the other day was already very good and I think we continued on the same line, even raising the level a bit.

"I think this is the way we have to follow. Little by little we are becoming stronger as a group."

Messi made his 142nd Argentina appearance against Peru, joining Brazil great Cafu for the equal fifth most by a South American man.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner wants to continue contributing for Argentina, who won in Peru for the first time since 2004.

"Whenever I come here I try to do my best and I feel qualified to fight for this shirt," Messi said.

"I feel good to continue working and adding games."

Nicolas Gonzalez continued his rapid rise and Lautaro Martinez was on target as Argentina maintained their unbeaten start to CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying with a 2-0 win over Peru.

Argentina's perfect record was ended in a draw against Paraguay last time out, however the Albiceleste stayed undefeated on the road to Qatar 2022 thanks to Gonzalez and Martinez in Lima on Tuesday.

Gonzalez, who scored in the Paraguay stalemate, opened the scoring with his second international goal in five appearances in the 17th minute before Martinez doubled Argentina's lead 11 minutes later.

With the result, Argentina remain second and two points behind CONMEBOL leaders Brazil through four matchdays.

Peru started on the front foot at the Estadio Nacional, where Christian Cueva appealed for a penalty inside the ninth minute but it was waived away by the referee, despite a pitch-side review – Argentina goalkeeper Franco Armani was adjudged not to have made contact.

Pedro Gallese did not have much to do, but he was forced to collect the ball from his net after Gonzalez capped a fine team goal – Giovani Lo Celso creating space in a sublime movement before laying off a pass with the outside of his boot as the former finished powerfully across the Peru goalkeeper.

Lionel Messi almost helped double Argentina's lead when he played a throughball for Nicolas Tagliafico, who was denied by a last-ditch block in the 24th minute.

Argentina, though, did get their second goal four minutes later after Martinez broke the offside trap, running onto Leandro Paredes' pass down the middle and rounding Gallese in a swift attacking move.

While Peru ended the half strongly, they had nothing to show for it, though they continued to build some momentum in the second half.

Lucas Ocampos almost scored a goal with his first touch, but Gallese made a fine save approaching the hour-mark, after Messi's exquisite pass almost released Martinez.

Messi tried desperately to get on the scoresheet, but he had his penalty appeals waived away and his goal-bound effort was deflected for a corner, while substitute Angel Di Maria was thwarted by Gallese.

 

What does it mean? Argentina roll on

Argentina are yet to taste defeat in four World Cup 2022 qualifiers. Not since last year's Copa America in July have Lionel Scaloni's side lost – a run of 11 international fixtures. It was also Argentina's first victory away to Peru since September 2004, having drawn three times previously.

Lo Celso shines in Lima

After impressing off the bench against Paraguay, Lo Celso was at it again from the outset on Tuesday. He helped set the tone with a wonderful assist – his quick feet, vision, composure and passing on display.

Subdued Messi wasteful

Messi was far from his best against Peru, but it did not matter as the likes of Lo Celso and Paredes stepped up. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner was not without his chances, though Argentina's all-time leading goalscorer uncharacteristically saw two golden opportunities go begging in the second half. Messi has now gone three international matches without scoring.

What's next?

Argentina will be back in action in March next year, the South American powerhouse facing rivals Uruguay and Brazil, while Peru will take on Bolivia and Venezuela.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez admitted there was a sense of "relief" to be facing a Brazil side without Neymar in World Cup qualifying.

Brazil's perfect record in World Cup 2022 qualifying will be put to the test in Montevideo on Tuesday, and they will be without Neymar due to a thigh injury.

Uruguay will be without a key player of their own after star forward Luis Suarez tested positive for coronavirus.

While unsure if Neymar's absence would give Uruguay an advantage, Tabarez said he was relieved.

"Neymar is among the great players of today and beyond fulfilling obligations of tasks that he has to do at the defensive level, in attack he is very prominent … it shows that in Brazil space is given to his individual creativity," he told a news conference.

"That makes the Brazilian attack stronger because of his speed, his technique, his one-on-one decision, his persistence and his winning mentality. He is very happy when he wins and hot when he loses. This is the type of player who feels like football and plays to achieve things.

"That he is not here tomorrow, I do not know if it will be an advantage for us, but if it is some relief, apart from the fact that Brazil have great forwards.

"We face the best team of these qualifiers, of the past and of many more."

Uruguay have grabbed six points from their opening three qualifiers, but they are winless in their previous 10 meetings with Brazil.

They are coming off a 3-0 win over Colombia as Edinson Cavani, Suarez and Darwin Nunez scored.

Tabarez revealed Cavani was dealing with a blister while playing 78 minutes against Colombia, having had limited game time since joining Manchester United.

"Edinson Cavani, after having had a long time away from the pitches and training, since March of this year, he reappeared at Manchester United in the last minutes of the games and in one of them he scored a goal, which is very important for a scorer like him," he said.

"That was the immediate previous experience, and now he played 78 minutes with some problems, a very annoying blister, but he showed great dedication and a lot of intelligence in his interventions."

Lionel Scaloni was happy with what he saw from Lionel Messi as Argentina prepare to face Peru in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

Amid concerns over an ankle injury, Messi played in Argentina's 1-1 draw with Paraguay on Thursday, having a goal ruled out in the second half.

Argentina coach Scaloni said he was pleased with Messi, who is set to make his 142nd international appearance – to go equal with Brazil great Cafu for the fifth most by a South American.

"On a performance level, Leo played a good game," he told a news conference.

"We were unlucky that they didn't validate the goal because it had been a great play."

Scaloni added: "I saw him well and he has no problem, that's the important thing."

Argentina will seek to extend their unbeaten run in qualifiers against Peru to 16 matches, but Scaloni also wanted to send his well wishes to Javier Mascherano.

Mascherano, the former Barcelona and Liverpool star who has the most caps in Argentina's history, announced his retirement on Sunday.

"I want to emphasise the retirement of Javier Mascherano and his new life that begins from now on. I send him a big hug," Scaloni said.

"He was an emblem of Argentine football and I wish him to do his best and that whatever he decides to do now, he does it with the same passion with which he used to play."

Meanwhile, Peru coach Ricardo Gareca – whose side have collected just one point from their opening three qualifiers – acknowledged the challenge awaiting his team.

"We pay attention to the strength of the rivals and logically it is a challenge to try to counteract the strengths of the teams that we face," he said.

"Argentina not only has Messi, but they have many good players in all their lines and we will have to play a great game to neutralise them."

Luis Suarez has tested positive for coronavirus and is set to miss Atletico Madrid's LaLiga clash with his former club Barcelona.

The 33-year-old will also sit out Uruguay's World Cup qualifier with Brazil on Tuesday after contracting COVID-19 while away with his national side.

Uruguay confirmed in a statement on Monday that Suarez and team-mate Rodrigo Munoz, as well as backroom staff member Matias Faral, are all following coronavirus protocols.

The news comes five days before Suarez was set to take on Barcelona, the club he left for a nominal fee in September after six years at Camp Nou.

He has played nine times for Atletico since joining and has five goals in six LaLiga outings. Only Real Sociedad's Mikel Oyarzabal has scored more, having played a further three games.

Suarez's six league goals have come from 22 shots, eight of which were on target, both of which are the most of any Atletico player this season.

Speaking to Marca this week, Suarez reiterated his disappointment at being forced out of Barcelona during the most recent transfer window.

"I was sad and hurt by the way I left – I already said it," he admitted. "But when they close a door, five more open to you where they value my work, professionalism and trajectory. I feel proud. 

"Where they did not want me, there was another that wanted me. I found happiness and I'm enjoying this moment now."

Marquinhos has warned his Brazil team-mates to be "100 per cent" focused on the threat of Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani in Tuesday's 2022 World Cup qualifying clash.

Cavani spent seven years playing alongside defender Marquinhos at Paris Saint-Germain after they both joined the Ligue 1 giants in July 2013. 

The Uruguayan left PSG at the end of the 2019-20 campaign as the club's all-time record goalscorer having found the net 200 times. 

Indeed, only Lionel Messi (432) and Cristiano Ronaldo (416) have scored more goals in Europe's top five leagues since Cavani (250) debuted for Palermo in 2007.

Brazil have won all three of their qualifiers so far, but Marquinhos says they need to be acutely aware of the danger posed by Cavani – who joined Manchester United on a free transfer in October – in Montevideo if they are to extend their perfect start.

"For me, it was very good to work with Cavani because he is a great attacker," he said. "In confrontations you had to be very careful with him and try to cancel him in the best way. 

"I really like to face great attackers, to be able to raise my level and train in the best way. That is what makes you improve and grow every day. 

"Cavani is a very decisive player and one who gives a lot to his teams. We know how important he has been for his team. He plays everywhere on the field, attacks and defends. 

"We will have to be 100 per cent focused because at the slightest mistake, he can score a goal."

Cavani scored his 51st international goal in Friday's impressive 3-0 qualifying win over Colombia and will likely start up front alongside Luis Suarez against Brazil, the Atletico Madrid striker also scoring in the victory in Barranquilla.

Marquinhos is well aware of the danger posed by the potent pair, but he remains quietly confident Brazil's defence has enough experience to keep them quiet.

"We are always concerned with the great attackers," he added. "They are players that I will have to face individually, but ours is a collective work. 

"There are many things we can do to make the game difficult for those players and make it easier for us in defence. Sure, we are concerned, but collectively we will try to limit them."

Reinaldo Rueda assured Chile took no risks with their use of Alexis Sanchez against Peru, despite a public dispute with Inter over his presence in the squad.

Sanchez this week was forced to leave a Chile training session early with a muscular issue and Rueda criticised Inter's management of the attacker's physical condition.

The club have not hidden their feeling that their players should not be travelling for international matches during a pandemic, claiming the games often lead to injuries amid a congested schedule.

Rueda accused the club of a lack of respect and the Nerazzurri responded by calling his comments "unacceptable, offensive and not corresponding to reality".

Sanchez started on the bench for Friday's 2-0 victory over Peru in the CONMEBOL 2022 World Cup qualifying section and was sent on in the 84th minute, replacing Felipe Mora.

"We talked with Alexis and the medical team about his situation. If we could give him 15 or 20 minutes it was very important," said Rueda.

"He came on and played well in a key stage of the game. It was important for him to gain continuity and confidence without taking risks."

Chile's win was secured by a pair of first-half goals from captain Arturo Vidal, the first of which was a sensational 25-yard strike that flew into the top-right corner.

"He assumed the captaincy with great integrity. The dressing room respects him, because of his experience, the heart he has," said Rueda.

"Arturo's decision and daring to risk allowed us to embrace one another, but Peru never made the game or the possibility to score easy for us."

Vidal's double moved him onto 31 international goals, taking him clear of Carlos Caszely for sole ownership of fifth in La Roja's all-time scoring chart.

However, with Chile having taken one point from their opening two qualifiers it was the win that pleased him more.

"I'm happy for that [surpassing Caszely], but the most important thing is the team, fighting to go to another World Cup. That is more important than the goals," said Vidal.

"I want to congratulate my team-mates for the game we played, against a very strong team which have been playing very well in recent years.

"The first half we played much better, we looked to control the game. The second cost us a bit, we backed down a little, but the important thing was to get the three points and gain confidence."

Peru were unable to recover and record a third straight win against Chile for the first time, having triumphed in their previous two encounters 3-0.

They have now lost six of their past seven against La Roja in World Cup qualifying games.

Lucas Paqueta showed Neymar is not irreplaceable by giving Brazil something they were missing against Venezuela, according to assistant coach Matheus Bacchi.

Neymar was called up by Brazil for their 2022 World Cup qualifiers despite suffering from a groin injury as it was hoped he would be fit in time to feature against Uruguay on Tuesday.

However, he was sent back to Paris Saint-Germain to continue his recovery ahead of an uninspiring 1-0 victory over Venezuela at Morumbi on Friday.

The Selecao struggled to create openings in the first half but Paqueta replaced the booked Douglas Luiz at half-time and supplied an incisive pass for the move that resulted in Roberto Firmino scoring the only goal of the game.

"Whenever you have a player of the level of Neymar, with the ability to generate imbalance, the team will miss him," said Bacchi, son of head coach Tite.

"We missed him even more in this game to find an alternative and make space in the man-to-man marking.

"The entrance of Paqueta was a way to find a new path, to move to find the pass in that direction. Neymar is not irreplaceable, but he is indispensable."

Tite added: "In the first half we didn't have enough width to break the man-to-man marking. The passing triangles started to happen with the goal, which started with Paqueta.

"It ended up working [the substitution] due to what the game needed, with Douglas Luiz's card and the entry of a creative, attacking midfielder in Paqueta.

"The use of these pieces is challenging and brings these lessons within the difficulty of the game."

Paqueta was left out of the squad for the first round of qualifiers but was proud to have returned and helped the team break down a tough opponent, who defended deep throughout.

"They were respecting us. They were very compact. We looked for our way to overcome them. Thank God, we found the goal and won the three points," Paqueta told CBF TV.

"We were able to read the game well at half-time. We found the spaces in the second half and broke through their blockade."

Brazil made it three wins from three games in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying after grinding out a 1-0 victory over Venezuela.

Brazil were frustrated by Venezuela in Sao Paulo, but Roberto Firmino's 67th-minute strike proved enough for the Selecao on Friday.

Firmino popped up with 23 minutes remaining in the absence of Neymar as Brazil stayed perfect to top the standings by two points ahead of rivals Argentina.

Back in action following last month's 4-2 win in Peru, Tite made four changes – some enforced – to his starting XI, with the unfit Neymar, Casemiro (coronavirus), Philippe Coutinho and Weverton dropping out and Gabriel Jesus, Allan, Everton Ribeiro and Ederson coming in.

Brazil – who drew 0-0 against Venezuela at last year's Copa America – found the back of the net inside seven minutes but the linesman raised his flag. Richarlison had scored after Renan Lodi's mishit shot was palmed into the path of the Everton forward.

The South American champions controlled possession, but had nothing to show for it, struggling to create clear-cut chances.

An unmarked Jesus was unable to turn the ball towards goal just past the half-hour mark, instead scuffing an effort to Richarlison, who could only steer his close-range effort wide of the post.

Venezuela were rarely threatening, though Yeferson Soteldo slalomed into the penalty area and slid a cross into the six-yard box but Marquinhos intervened at the last moment to clear the danger.

Brazil had the ball in the back of the net again prior to half-time however Douglas Luiz's effort was waived off for a foul on Venezuela goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez.

After a VAR review for handball was waived way nine minutes into the second half, Brazil finally broke Venezuela's resistance 13 minutes later when the ball was headed into the path of Firmino, who made no mistake from close range.

 

What does it mean? Brazil roll on

It was not perfect, nor was it pretty, but Brazil got the job done behind closed doors. Without Neymar due to a groin strain and key midfielder Casemiro, Brazil were missing star quality against a stubborn Venezuela side. Despite not creating many clear-cut opportunities, Brazil managed to extend their winning streak to four matches, while they are unbeaten in their last 20 World Cup qualifying fixtures.

Firmino with confidence-boosting goal

Much has been said about Firmino, especially amid Diogo Jota's remarkable run of form at Liverpool. But Firmino popped up when Brazil needed him most. It was his first goal in four matches and just his second since netting twice against Bolivia on October 9.

Brazil lack spark

While Brazil walked away with maximum points, it was far from convincing. Tite's men appeared sluggish, and predictable in attack against the impressive visitors – lacking creativity in the final third.

What's next?

Brazil are away to Uruguay in Montevideo on Tuesday, while Venezuela host Chile on the same day.

Neymar will not recover from injury in time to face Uruguay in Brazil's second 2022 World Cup qualifier.

The Selecao number 10 was called up by his country despite missing Paris Saint-Germain's past three matches with a groin strain.

Brazil face Venezuela on Friday, a game Neymar was already expected to miss, and then visit Uruguay on Tuesday.

They will again be without their talisman for that match, as team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar explained.

"We were hopeful that he could play," he said. "That's why we brought him to Brazil.

"He has improved but not enough so that he'll be ready for the game on Tuesday against Uruguay. We have decided to release Neymar."

Brazil have won both of their two fixtures so far in the qualifying campaign, with Neymar hitting a hat-trick last time out against Peru.

Lionel Scaloni called for greater consistency with the VAR after Argentina were denied a winner against Paraguay.

Nicolas Gonzalez cancelled out Angel Romero's penalty at La Bombonera on Thursday and Argentina thought they had a third straight win to begin World Cup qualifying when Lionel Messi scored in the second half.

However, the goal was ruled out after a VAR check for a foul that started Argentina's passing build-up, and Scaloni's men were held as they moved onto seven points from three World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

But the Argentina coach wants to see greater consistency from the VAR after his side were denied a winner.

"I think that in some way it is necessary to seek to unify the issue of the VAR," Scaloni told a news conference, via Argentina's Twitter.

"I am not talking in good or bad faith, but to unify criteria."

After a slow start, Argentina dominated following Romero's opener from the penalty spot for Paraguay.

Argentina have won just two of their past eight qualifiers against Paraguay, who held on for a point in Buenos Aires.

Scaloni was satisfied with his team's performance and said they were dominant for long periods.

"In the first 15 minutes the team did not go well. After the penalty I think it was all ours, honestly," he said.

"The team reacted, created situations, did what it had to do. We achieved a draw."

Scaloni added: "We are leaving with a bittersweet taste because Argentina did everything to win.

"In the second half, we put the rival behind. We must also value the attitude of the team, which always believed in achieving victory."

Argentina continue their qualifying campaign with a trip to Lima to face Peru on Tuesday.

Argentina continued their unbeaten start to World Cup qualifying with a 1-1 draw against Paraguay at La Bombonera on Thursday.

Angel Romero's penalty gave Paraguay a first-half lead, but his opener was cancelled out by Nicolas Gonzalez's header.

After falling behind, Argentina were dominant, and Lionel Messi had a second-half goal ruled out following a VAR check.

Lionel Scaloni's men were forced to settle for a point and are unbeaten through three qualifiers to top the CONMEBOL standings.

After a bright start, Paraguay took a deserved 21st-minute lead through Romero's penalty.

Miguel Almiron's strong run at the Argentina defence saw the attacker brought down by Lucas Martinez, and Romero stepped up to place the spot-kick into the bottom corner.

Argentina started to enjoy more possession but struggled to create much of note before Gonzalez equalised prior to half-time thanks to his first international goal.

Gonzalez met a good corner from Giovani Lo Celso, who replaced the injured Exequiel Palacios during the first half, to head in at the near post and make it 1-1.

The equaliser gave Argentina a boost and Rodrigo De Paul's long-range drive forced a save from Paraguay goalkeeper Antony Silva on the stroke of half-time.

Lautaro Martinez and Paraguay defender Gustavo Gomez squandered good chances shortly after half-time before Argentina thought they had the lead.

After a cutback from Lo Celso, Messi beat Silva despite a strong hand from the Paraguay goalkeeper, but the goal was ruled out for a foul in the build-up after a VAR check.

Messi went close in the 72nd minute, Silva tipping his free-kick onto the crossbar after Lo Celso was fouled as Argentina continued to push, but they were unable to find a winner.

 

What does it mean? Argentina extend unbeaten run

Now unbeaten in three World Cup 2022 qualifiers, Argentina also stretched their overall run to 10. They made a slow start in Buenos Aires but were dominant after falling behind and deserved all three points. Argentina were denied a third straight win to begin a qualifying campaign, something they have managed just three times before.

Lo Celso provides spark

Palacios' injury was unfortunate for Argentina, but Lo Celso's introduction just before the half-hour mark boosted Scaloni's side. The Tottenham attacker assisted Gonzalez's equaliser and set up Messi's disallowed goal, while he was a constant threat.

Paraguay continue to trouble Argentina

Since being belted 6-1 by Argentina at the Copa America in 2015, Paraguay have gone four games unbeaten in meetings between the countries. In World Cup qualifying, Paraguay have won three and lost just two of their past eight clashes with Argentina.

What's next?

Argentina make the trip to Lima to face Peru on Tuesday, while Paraguay host Bolivia on the same day.

Inter have issued a statement hitting back at Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda, who claimed the Nerazzurri have overworked Alexis Sanchez.

The Serie A club have become embroiled in a spat with Chile over Sanchez, with the club believing their players should not be involved in international action during the coronavirus pandemic.

Inter say the fixtures put their star men at further risk of injury amid a congested fixture schedule this season.

Chile face Peru and Venezuela in 2022 World Cup qualifiers over the course of this international break, with Sanchez – who has clocked up 251 minutes in all competitions for Inter this term – a key part of their side.

Rueda accused the Nerazzurri of showing a lack of respect regarding the matter, but the Serie A giants have now responded, saying they found the coach's comments "unacceptable, offensive and not corresponding to reality".

A club statement added: "The club has always had the utmost collaboration and excellent relations with all the staff of the national teams.

"In the particular case of Alexis Sanchez, the player has encountered a physical problem in almost every call-up with his national team. 

"In one of these, he suffered a serious injury that kept him away from the pitch for three months. This represented a serious sporting damage for the club, which has always been attentive to the health of its players."

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