After almost two weeks of serene Liverpool winning games rather comfortably, the one that leaves it late and wins 2-1 showed up in Doha this evening, as the Reds beat Mexican side Monterrey 2-1 to progress to the final of the Club World Cup, where they will face Brazilian side Flamengo.
Naby Keita put Liverpool ahead early, but Jurgen Klopp’s men were pegged back immediately by Rogelio Funes Mori’s equaliser. The Reds left it late, and it was up to substitute Roberto Firmino to score the winner in injury time after good work from Mo Salah led to a perfect Trent Alexander-Arnold cross.
Here’s how each player fared.
Alisson Becker – 10/10
Absolutely immense. Monterrey created the better chance for most of the game, and Alisson was definitely the busier keeper. It was an outstanding performance from the big Brazilian with save after save, to keep his side in it.
James Milner – 6/10
He should’ve scored in the first half, when put through by Salah, and had a few decent moments going forward. But his lack of pace was exploited nicely by Gallardo on the Monterrey left.
Joe Gomez – 6/10
He did struggle against Funes Mori and co., but did come up with a few crucial interventions on the edge of his own penalty area.
Jordan Henderson – 4/10
Of course, we have to cut him slack because he’s not a centre-back, but that was the obvious weakness in the side that Monterrey targetted time and again. He let balls bounce, didn’t really have the nous to play offside traps, and looked a fish out of water, understandably.
Andy Robertson – 5/10
With no Van Dijk to guard his flank, and no Mane in front of him, he found life a tad difficult. The Monterrey skipper Pabon was superb on their right flank as well, which meant a difficult evening for the Liverpool left-back.
Adam Lallana – 5/10
Once again, he showed that he really hasn’t got the nous to play that no.6 role. He was caught out of position time and again, when Monterrey broke forward.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6/10
Looked a lot better than a few others on the pitch, but just couldn’t sustain quality for a long enough period of time.
Naby Keita – 8/10
Another outstanding performance from Naby, to add to his recent run of form from Bournemouth and Salzburg. Took his goal expertly, and could’ve added another soon after, and one more in the second half, but the Monterrey ‘keeper was alert on both occasions.
Divock Origi – 4/10
Hold-up play was non-existent, dribbling wasn’t very good, and in front of goal, he fluffed his lines when Milner delivered a nice cross for a sitter.
Xherdan Shaqiri – 5/10
Started on the left, and couldn’t really have a big impact on the game. Things didn’t change when he moved over to the right for the second half. Was first to be replaced, as Mane took his place.
Mohamed Salah – 8/10
No goal for him, but a superbly influential performance again. Set up Keita’s goal with a lovely reverse pass, and was instrumental in the build-up to the winner, with skill and tenacity to set up Trent’s cross.
Sadio Mane – 6/10
Injected some urgency and purpose, but weirdly enough, didn’t get the ball played to him as often as he’d have liked.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8/10
20-odd minutes on the pitch, a couple of decent crosses, and then the telling one for Firmino’s winner. Just another day at work for the best right-back in the world.
Roberto Firmino – 8/10
He came on only within the last ten minutes, but immediately brought a sense of purpose to Liverpool’s attacking play. A couple of nice touches aside, scored the big goal that sealed progress, and most importantly, ensured Extra-Time wasn’t required.