Club World Cup

Monterrey 1-2 Liverpool: Roberto Firmino scores stoppage-time winner

By Emma SandersBBC Sport
Fifa Club World Cup final: Liverpool v Flamengo
Venue: Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar Date: Saturday, 21 December Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app.

Roberto Firmino scored a dramatic injury-time winner - five minutes after coming on as a substitute - to give Liverpool victory over Mexican side Monterrey and book their place in the Fifa Club World Cup final.

The Brazilian striker, who replaced Divock Origi in the 85th minute, poked in fellow substitute Trent Alexander-Arnold's cross from close range in Doha.

Liverpool's Naby Keita had opened the scoring in the first half after an excellent Mohamed Salah through ball before Rogelio Funes Mori equalised.

The Reds will take on Brazil's Flamengo in Saturday's final (17:30 GMT kick-off), which will be shown live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Manager Jurgen Klopp, who flew to Qatar with the first-team squad while under-23s boss Neil Critchley took charge of the Liverpool's Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat by Aston Villa on Tuesday evening, named a makeshift starting XI due to injuries and illness in defence.

As a result, Liverpool looked vulnerable at the back and, despite taking the lead early on, could have fallen behind after chances fell to Monterrey's Dorlan Pabon, Funes Mori and Jesus Gallardo either side of the break.

Keita also had more chances to score and was denied twice in the second half by keeper Marcelo Barovero.

Funes Mori - the twin brother of former Everton defender Ramiro - shocked Liverpool fans when he pounced on a rebound to equalise three minutes later but the Premier League leaders were persistent, as they have been so often this season.

Salah kept the ball in play before teeing up Alexander-Arnold, who slid a cross behind the defence for Firmino to poke home, meaning Liverpool avoided extra time and a potential upset in Doha.

Midfielders in defence & leaving it late

Such is the extent of Liverpool's injury list that Jordan Henderson trained in the centre-back position in Qatar and switched from his normal midfield role to play the full 90 minutes there against Monterrey.

Fellow midfielder James Milner also started at right-back as Klopp opted to leave Alexander-Arnold on the bench, while defensive talisman Virgil van Dijk - who has started every Champions League and Premier League game for Liverpool this season - was ruled out through illness.

Centre-backs Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren are also out through injury, as well as defensive midfielder Fabinho, who is not expected to return until the new year.

So it was no surprise Liverpool's back four were tested - Pabon got the better of Henderson on several occasions and Milner was caught napping at the back post when Rodolfo Pizarro almost got a touch on the ball in the second half.

Monterrey had 16 shots in total, including eight on target, and there was a moment of relief when Joe Gomez - Liverpool's only recognised centre-back in the squad - was only shown a yellow card for stopping a dangerous counter-attack.

In the end, Klopp was forced to bring on regular first-teamers Sadio Mane, Firmino and Alexander-Arnold and but was rewarded as his side eventually got the job done.

With Liverpool playing nine games in December, it was crucial Liverpool avoided extra time and they now have the chance to win their second trophy this season in Saturday's final.

Strange 24 hours continues in Qatar

There will probably not be a stranger week for Liverpool this season, having played two matches on two continents in the space of 24 hours.

On Tuesday night, 22-year-old Pedro Chirivella, a midfielder with just seven previous first team appearances, captained the youngest team in the club's history in the Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat to Aston Villa.

Fast forward 24 hours and Liverpool's usual senior captain Henderson was starting at centre-back against a Mexican side in Qatar, 3,000 miles away.

Klopp even revealed before the game he was denied entry to breakfast at the team's hotel because he did not have a pass showing he was part of the Liverpool staff.

Liverpool fans with a banner in Qatar
Fans held up banners to support Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who was a popular figure in Doha

The abnormality continued on Wednesday night as the stadium announcer asked fans "who's come to see Mohamed Salah" and added "let's get this party started" as the game kicked off.

Every time the Egyptian touched the ball there was a roar of excitement within the ground and fans came bearing flags and banners with his name plastered across them.

At half-time, the DJ played songs from David Guetta and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and a Mexican wave broke out in the second half.

It was an occasion like no other but Liverpool came through unscathed and can now look forward to the final before returning to England to take on title rivals Leicester City on Boxing Day.

Man of the match - Alisson

Liverpool keeper Alisson celebrating with Jurgen Klopp
The Liverpool goalkeeper was surprisingly busy and he kept the scores level with very little fuss - making several smart saves - before Firmino added the winner late on

'We will see what we can do'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp speaking to BBC Sport: "All you need is Alisson Becker, Alisson Becker. He was there in the decisive moments. A really hard game and then you can bring on the boys.

"Wonderful goal, great game, super atmosphere. We have no clue about Virgil, we thought he would be fine. We will see.

"We have brought in a few kids and see what we can do line-up wise. We want to play the final and see what we can do."

Klopp impressed with Reds' resilience in victory over Monterrey

Monterrey boss Antonio Mohamed: "For me, there was a red card, especially the first foul and the second. So I talked to the referee.

"Maybe a Liverpool shirt has more weight, therefore the Liverpool player wasn't sent off."

A first in 18 years - the best of the stats

  • Liverpool have reached their second Club World Cup final, becoming the first English team to reach the final of the competition twice.
  • Monterrey have lost both of their Club World Cup semi-final matches, suffering defeat against English opposition both times (also v Chelsea in 2012).
  • Liverpool's Alexander-Arnold has registered 20 assists in all competitions during 2019, more than any other Premier League player.
  • Since the start of the 2017/18 season, no player has more assists for Liverpool in all competitions than Salah (31, level with Firmino).
  • Liverpool became the first Premier League team to play matches on consecutive days since November 2001, when both Manchester United and Arsenal did so.
  • Keita has now scored as many goals in his last three Liverpool appearances in all competitions (three) as he managed in his first 41 matches for the club.

What's next?

Liverpool take on Flamengo in Saturday's final (17:30 GMT) after the Brazilian side beat Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal 3-1 on Tuesday. Five days later they face title rivals Leicester City in the Premier League on Thursday, 26 December (20:00 GMT kick-off) at the King Power.



Formation 5-4-1

  • 1Barovero
  • 33Medina
  • 3MontesSubstituted forLayúnat 79'minutes
  • 4Sánchez
  • 11VangioniBooked at 47mins
  • 17GallardoBooked at 78mins
  • 8PabónSubstituted forMezaat 82'minutes
  • 29Rodríguez
  • 16Ortíz
  • 20PizarroSubstituted forGonzálezat 90'minutes
  • 7Funes Mori


  • 6Gutiérrez
  • 10Urretaviscaya
  • 14Zaldívar
  • 15Basanta
  • 19Layún
  • 21González
  • 22Cárdenas
  • 23Vásquez
  • 24Reséndez
  • 25González
  • 32Meza
  • 94Mejía


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forAlexander-Arnoldat 74'minutes
  • 12GomezBooked at 58mins
  • 14Henderson
  • 26Robertson
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 20Lallana
  • 8Keita
  • 11Salah
  • 27OrigiSubstituted forFirminoat 85'minutes
  • 23ShaqiriSubstituted forManéat 68'minutes


  • 9Firmino
  • 10Mané
  • 13Adrián
  • 22Lonergan
  • 48Jones
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 76N Williams
Roberto Tobar

Match Stats

Home TeamMonterreyAway TeamLiverpool
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Monterrey 1, Liverpool 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Monterrey 1, Liverpool 2.

  3. Post update

    Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by John Medina (Monterrey).

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Nicolás Sánchez (Monterrey) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Carlos Rodríguez with a cross.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Monterrey. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

  7. Goal!

    Goal! Monterrey 1, Liverpool 2. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold with a cross.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Monterrey. Jonathan González replaces Rodolfo Pizarro.

  9. Post update

    Joseph Gomez (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey).

  11. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Leonel Vangioni.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Monterrey. Conceded by Joseph Gomez.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Roberto Firmino replaces Divock Origi.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool).

  15. Post update

    Leonel Vangioni (Monterrey) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Monterrey. Maximiliano Meza replaces Dorlan Pabón.

  17. Post update

    Offside, Liverpool. Sadio Mané tries a through ball, but Mohamed Salah is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Monterrey. Miguel Layún replaces César Montes because of an injury.

  20. Booking

    Jesús Gallardo (Monterrey) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.


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