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Monterrey vs Liverpool, Fifa Club World Cup semi-final: live score and latest updates – the telegraph, telegraph.co.uk

Monterrey vs Liverpool, Fifa Club World Cup semi-final: live score and latest updates – the telegraph, telegraph.co.uk


Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino celebrates his goal during the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final football match between Mexico's Monterrey and England's Liverpool Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino celebrates his goal during the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final football match between Mexico's Monterrey and England's Liverpool ************** Roberto Firmino comes on to score Liverpool’s late winnerCredit:KARIM JAAFAR / AFP via Getty Images

      ************************ Monterrey 2-1 Liverpool

Kloppage time can extend into any timezone.

Liverpool’s hopes of becoming world club champions remain intact, but only just.

They needed an injury time winner from Roberto Firmino, assisted by a Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross, to overcome a Mexican side which proved more disruptive than anticipated. The combining duo came off the bench to prevent more wary limbs suffering in the middle east, the Brazilian tapping in with the last meaningful action.

Liverpool have already sacrificed one competition for wholesale changes this week. After going several months without a defeat, at one stage Jürgen Klopp must have feared the indignity of losing twice within 24 hours. He was forced into several alterations again and only the composed performance of keeper Alisson prevented embarrassment.

There were mitigating circumstances for the toil.

For those waiting patiently for a Joe Gomez / Jordan Henderson center-back pairing, it was their lucky day. Illness deprived Klopp of Virgil Van Dijk, so when the team sheet was printed the question was how capable the Mexicans of exposing Liverpool’s problems.

Mohamed Salah’s bravura first-half performance troubled Monterrey
Credit:Matthew Ashton – AMA / Getty Images

That would rapidly become apparent, especially from set-pieces. The confidence of the unfancied North American representatives soared as the game progressed. They were not facing the Liverpool that won the Champions League. Klopp also started with Sadio Mane and Firmino on the bench. The contingency plan of using this week as a winter training camp before the Boxing Day trip to Leicester City was looking a smart move as his side lacked tempo and cohesion.

At least, Salah’s inclusion was to the taste of the Qatari branch of Liverpool’s supporters club, stronger than might have been anticipated given the prominence of red jerseys in the Khalifa International stadium.

Each time the Egyptian collected the ball, a shrill cheer erupted, the like of which has more in common with a teenager’s reaction to Harry Styles.

They did not have to wait long to celebrate his contribution, Salah feeding Naby Keita for the opening goal on minutes – a cutting pass for the Guinea midfielder. Keita is starting to perform with more consistency, and at that stage Klopp might have anticipated a comfortable evening.

************** Firmino turns in the winnerCredit:Matthew Ashton – AMA / Getty Images

B ut they were ahead only two minutes, Liverpool failing to deal with a diagonal free-kick and funes mori tapping in after alisson’s save from jesus gallardo.

Alisson was the busier keeper throughout the first half, Monterrey conceding possession and waiting for mistakes to counter. Dorlan Pabon forced Alisson into more duty before half-time.

The Mexicans were quite happy to play the clock then, buoyed by the competitiveness of the game.

Liverpool tried to move up a gear early in the second half, Keita again going close, but the threat lingered. Both managers were booked in the final stages as the possibility of a shock increased, Klopp sending on the cavalry in the form of Mane, Firmino and Alexander-Arnold.

Predictably, they delivered and another trophy beckons – presumably for a stronger line-up – this weekend.

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