18th December – Firmino nicks win as Reds beat Monterrey


Just 24 hours after their youngsters lost at Villa Park, Liverpool’s senior side stepped on to hallowed Qatari turf in the Club World Cup.

The length of Liverpool’s injury list stretches so far that even in a Semi-Final, captain Jordan Henderson was forced to feature at centre half in the absence of Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutchman was ill – another bullet point on a stretching clipboard including Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren.

Trent Alexander-Arnold also sat on the bench as James Milner filled in at right-back.

It took only eleven minutes though for the Reds to break the deadlock. A stunning through ball from Mohamed Salah fell to the right boot of Naby Keita, who once again proved his worth bagging his third goal in recent weeks.

Former Everton players Ramiro Funes Mori’s twin brother Rogelio equalised just minutes after the Guinean opened the scoring, after pouncing on a rebound to place past Liverpool’s Brazilian ‘keeper Alisson.

Monterrey were excellent throughout, much alike the Liverpool youngsters last night. Having 16 shots including eight on target, they certainly placed the makeshift backline under severe pressure.

But in an occasion like no other where David Guetta and Red Hot Chili Peppers blurred at half time, and the fans were asked ‘Who’s come to see Mohamed Salah?’. Odd indeed.

Gomez added to Liverpool’s availability scares after he picked up a yellow

Mo Salah was again involved in Liverpool’s winner – and after he retrieved the ball and fed substitute Trent Alexander-Arnold, he swooped an inch perfect ball finding fellow sub Roberto Firmino who slammed in his fifth of the season. Stoppage time winner. Liverpool scrape the win. Job done.

The Reds will face Flamengo on Saturday, who boast prodigal talents such as Gabriel Barbosa andGiorgian de Arrascaeta, with veterans Filipe Luis and Diego aiding the younger guns.

Stonadge’s Man of the Match – Alisson

Being forced into world class saves time and time again, the former Roma man certainly earned his bucks tonight to earn a place against a rival from his homeland in the Club World Cup Final.

Dorlan Pabon, Rodolfo Pizzaro and Funes Mori battered down the Brazilian’s goal but once again only the latter beat him from a pouncing rebound.

To say it was an absence of Van Dijk which brought the best out of Alisson would be a fair statement. For a defensive setup that flaky hasn’t been seen at Anfield since, well, the arrival of Van Dijk.

But Alisson proved his equal capabilities and his utterly crucial status to Liverpool’s challenge in all competitions this season.

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

Unused Substitutes: Gutierrez. Urretaviscaya, Zaldivar, Basanta, Cardenas, Vasquez, Resendez, Gonzalez, Mejia

Liverpool: Alisson; Milner (Alexander-Arnold 75), Gomez, Henderson, Robertson; Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita; Salah, Shaqiri (Mane 68), Origi (Firmino 85)

Unused Substitutes: Adrian, Lonergan, Jones, Williams


About Author

Sports Journalism student, streamer at LFC Transfer Room, Anfield Agenda. Liverpool fan with a particular interest in Welsh, Youth, and African football.

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