Brazil's future shown by Alexandre Pato
It would be a stretch to claim that a sense of history hung heavily in the air at the Emirates Stadium last night. This was, more accurately, the latest leg of Brazil's World Tour - an exercise focused less on reviving the memory of the country's 1958 World Cup final win over Sweden and more on satisfying the neutral's craving for an exhibition of attacking artistry.
Why else would the Brazilians return to London five times in two years? Certainly, the latest visit was not so much a homage to the legacy of Pele, for whose reputation the 5-2 victory at Stockholm's Rasunda Stadium did so much, as a catwalk of Premier League stars, from Anderson to Gilberto.
Even so, there was a sense that Brazil coach Dunga had put out a faded facsimile of the superstars at their best.
The conclusion was inescapable when Julio Baptista, hardly the most lustrous talent on the Emirates stage for Arsenal last season, drew probably the biggest cheer of the evening when being substituted. Conspicuous by his absence was Ronaldino - ostensibly a victim of Dunga's resolve that no player could guarantee his place on star-power alone, but more likely a dispensable weapon when Brazil have more onerous World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Argentina for which to prepare, not to mention the Olympic Games.
There was, however, one highly symbolic moment. In 1958 Pele went from teenage ingenue to the most prized property in world football, and such grand expectations are now being invested in 18-year-old striker Alexandre Pato. AC Milan, Pato's club, have taken to christening their precocious youngster 'The Duck', but there was nothing notably flat-footed about his finishing here when, after a fragmented first half, he pounced on a loose clearance by Sweden goalkeeper Rami Shaaban to loop the ball elegantly into an empty net. In that one fluid motion, Brazil's presence in London was vindicated, their eclectic support - encompassing, seemingly, far more than the capital's South American fan-base - delighted.
Sweden, who offered up Freddie Ljundberg in another dose of Arsenal nostalgia, lacked the guile of Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front but embraced in every other respect their first meeting with Brazil for 13 years. Indeed, they had one of the best chances of the night when Kim Kallstrom angled a fierce shot over the crossbar. They were also effective in containing the skills of Werder Bremen's Diego, reportedly being courted by Chelsea. Brazil, though, remained the more inventive with the threat of Pato and Robinho.
Sweden (0) 0 Brazil (0) 1
Match details Sweden: Isaksson, Stoor, Mellberg, Majstorovic, Nilsson, Larsson, Svensson, Kallstrom, Ljungberg, Elmander, Rosenberg.
Subs: Shaaban, Dorsin, Allback, Andersson, Bakircioglu, Prica, Wilhelmsson, Risp, Alexandersson.
Brazil: Julio Cesar, Daniel, Lucio, Alex, Richarlyson, Julio Baptista, Silva, Josue, Ribas Diego, Luis Fabiano, Robinho.
Subs: Alves Diego, Rafinha, Marcelo, Hernanes, Lucas, Anderson, Thiago Neves, Rafael Sobis, Leo, Naldo, Pato.
Referee: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).