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Liverpool 2-1 Monterrey: Firmino late winner puts Reds into Club World Cup final

Liverpool left it late, with two substitutes combining to produce the match-winning goal in stoppage time to see off Mexican side Monterrey.

Liverpool 2-1 Monterrey

Club World Cup Semi-Final
Khalifa International Stadium (Doha, Qatar)
Wednesday, 18 December 2019


Keita 12′ (assist: Salah)
Funes Mori 13′
Firmino 90+1′ (assist: Alexander-Arnold)

Liverpool continue to find a way to win. Liverpool continue to win 2-1. Liverpool continue to win it late.

Virgil van Dijk wasn’t named in the Liverpool side for the first time this season in a game other than the League Cup, the influential defender ruled out with a cold.

Jordan Henderson partnered Joe Gomez at centre-back, while James Milner and Andy Robertson completed a makeshift all-British defence.

Liverpool dominated the early proceedings, controlling possession and passing the ball around well, and that resulted in the opening goal in the 12th minute.

Mohamed Salah provided an excellent reverse ball for the assist, and Naby Keita finished nicely past the ‘keeper for his third goal in his last three appearances.

DOHA, QATAR - Wednesday, December 18, 2019: Liverpool's Naby Keita celebrates scoring the second goal during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 Semi-Final match between CF Monterrey and Liverpool FC at the Khalifa Stadium. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

But within two minutes, the Mexican side were level with their first real attack of the game when Rogelio Funes Mori tapped in with a poacher’s goal after Alisson had saved the initial shot off a set-piece.

The rest of the first half saw chances for either side, with probably the best of those for Monterrey.

Alisson made one good save to deny Dorlan Pabon, then made a superb save low down to cut out his cross that was destined to fall for the forward to tap in from close range.

Salah started to grow into the game, and Keita almost rounded the keeper for his second when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played him in.

Liverpool had more possession, but didn’t produce much with it and forwards Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri were particularly peripheral.

Half time: Liverpool 1-1 Monterrey

  • Makeshift defence with Henderson at centre-back
  • Keita scores his third goal in last three appearances
  • Stoppage time winner from sub Firmino
  • Reds will play Flamengo in the final on Saturday

A half time tactical switch saw Shaqiri move to the right and Salah central in an attempt to give the attack more fluidity, but that didn’t work either and eventually Sadio Mane replaced the ineffective Shaqiri.

Alisson made his third excellent save of the night early in the second half to deny Monterrey captain and dangerman Pabon from a free-kick on the edge of the box after a clumsy by from Joe Gomez.

Liverpool had chances: Keita, Liverpool’s best attacking threat, danced through the opposition defence but hit his shot was too close to the keeper, while Origi missed a superb chance from a low Milner cross.

Gomez was booked for a foul on the break, then later his handball saw both Klopp and Monterrey’s manager booked as they exchanged verbals – and gestures – on the sidelines.

Klopp called on Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino in an attempt to win the game and prevent the match going to extra-time.

And it worked – just, with Firmino tapping home Alexander-Arnold’s cross just as we entered stoppage time.

DOHA, QATAR - Wednesday, December 18, 2019: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the second goal during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 Semi-Final match between CF Monterrey and Liverpool FC at the Khalifa Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool will now play Brazilian side Flamengo in Saturday’s final.

TIA Man of the Match: Alisson

Referee: Roberto Tobar (CHI)

Attendance: 45,416

Liverpool: Alisson; Milner (Alexander-Arnold 74′), Gomez, Henderson, Robertson; Lallana, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shaqiri (Mane 68′), Salah, Origi (Firmino 85′)

Subs not used: Adrian, Lonergan, Firmino, Jones, Williams

Monterrey: Barovero; Medina, Montes (Layun 79′), Sanchez, Vangioni; Rodriguez, Ortiz; Pabon (Meza 82′), Pizarro (J Gonzalez 90′), Gallardo, Funes Mori

Subs not used: Cardenas, Resendez, Urretaviscaya, Zaldivar, Basanta, A Gonzalez, Gutierrez, Mejia

Next Match: Club World Cup final vs. Flamengo (Saturday, 21 December)

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