A hotchpotch Liverpool lineup saw off a well organised Monterrey side to reach the final of the Club World Cup.
Liverpool 2-1 Monterrey
Club World Cup semi-final
Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar
December 18, 2019
Goals: Keita 12′, Firmino 90+1; Funes Mori 14′
Alisson – 9 (out of 10)
More involved than he might have expected. Made a good save from the first shot prior to the goal, but couldn’t get to the rebound as an unmarked Rogelio Funes Mori scored in the gaping net.
Was regularly tested by Colombian forward Dorlan Pabón, saving well from two of his shots, and also making a vital intervention to deal with one of his crosses.
Made further saves from Funes Mori and Jesus Gallardo later on.
James Milner – 6
Had a chance early on, getting into the box from right-back but his shot was saved by Marcelo Barovero. His cross for Origi almost produced a goal.
Was made to work hard defensively at the far post, and was solid enough.
A valuable player for Liverpool as the fixtures pile up.
Joe Gomez – 7
Stepping out more than Henderson, carrying the ball into midfield and looking to play forward.
Fouled Funes Mori when the striker was through and lucky to only get a yellow. Was generally composed other than that, but could do with being able to organise a defence better in Van Dijk’s absence.
Made an important block from a Rodolfo Pizarro shot in the second half.
His great pass forward put Liverpool in a position to score the winning goal.
Jordan Henderson – 6
Asked to play centre-back due to Van Dijk’s illness.
Made a couple of good long passes out from the back, and seemed to have a decent enough understanding with Gomez, hanging back while his partner was more proactive.
Andy Robertson – 6
Not as productive as usual but still offered a good attacking outlet down the left.
Links up well with Mane so it’s a surprise he was not able to in this game with Mane coming on down the other side.
Adam Lallana – 5
Kept it simple in attack with some neat short passes but also the occasional probing forward pass, but these were too rare.
Was robbed in a dangerous area on one occasion, and generally doesn’t look dynamic enough for this Liverpool team, even in a playmaking position.
Naby Keita – 8
Made a few well-timed runs from midfield, one of which resulted in the opening goal of the game which he finished well.
Was unable to repeat this when played through for a similar chance by Oxlade-Chamberlain’s.
Had another shot saved by Barovero, and was generally one of the more accomplished players in a fairly disjointed team and disjointed display.
Took up some attacking positions early on, but eventually dropped deep to get things going alongside Lallana.
Played a nice through ball to Keita, similar to Salah’s assist for the first goal, but Keita couldn’t finish on that occasion.
Sent a long shot wide in the second half.
Xherdan Shaqiri – 6
Sent a shot wide early on and struggled to get into the game enough to make things happen in attack.
Started off on the left, moved to the right in the second half and looked more effective before being taken off.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Created two good chances in the first half, and was Liverpool’s most creative passer, playing a part in all the best chances including both goals.
It was his incisive pass which sent Keita through for the opening goal, and a similar pass created a chance for Milner.
Cheered every time he got the ball, but often lost it when trying to dribble beyond players.
Lively, in good positions, but the touch sometimes let him down.
A moment of great skill in midfield was appreciated by the fans, but he followed this up by running into trouble.
Persevered in the box to help create the chance for the winning goal.
Divock Origi – 5
Like Salah was let down by some poor touches, but found himself in some good areas.
Missed a good chance to score from Milner’s cross before being subbed.
Sadio Mane (on for Shaqiri, 68′) – 6
Took up a position down the right-wing, but drifted inside.
Tested Barovero with a powerful shot.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (on for Milner, 75′) – 7
Immediately added an extra threat down the right, and linked up well with Mane.
His cross set up Firmino for the winning goal.
Roberto Firmino (on for Origi, 85′) – 7
Came on to win the game for Liverpool.
Won the game for Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp – 7
Had to make some decisions with his team selection, choosing Henderson at centre-back and Lallana as the deepest midfielder.
Might have rearranged his front three at the start as Shaqiri wasn’t as effective down the left, but Salah was creating well down the right.
Van Dijk would surely have started if this was a league game, but his use of Henderson at centre-back didn’t backfire.
Had the luxury of being able to bring Mane, Alexander-Arnold, and Firmino off the bench, and the latter duo combined to win the game.