Liverpool fans erupted in joy on Saturday night when a 99th minute strike from Roberto Firmino ensured their maiden FIFA Club World Cup title. The Brazilian also played a pivotal role in the semi-final against Monterrey when he scored a dramatic injury-time winner to propel Liverpool into the final.
Roberto Firmino has scored 6 goals for Liverpool so far this season.— LFC Stats (@LFCData) December 22, 2019
5 of them have been match-winners. pic.twitter.com/rUQCTTOBK7
This was only the fourth FIFA Club World Cup final to go into extra time. This victory continued the domination of European sides in this tournament who have now won 12 of the last 13 Club World Cup competitions. After rotating the squad in the semi-final, Klopp relied on his strongest XI to deliver this time around.
Defensive maestro, Virgil Van Dijk returned while both Sadio Mane and Firmino started the game this time around after coming from the bench in the semi-final against Monterrey. The Reds had a strong start to the game with a flurry of attack coming against Flamengo’s way. The Brazilian side however took time to adjust to the pace of Liverpool’s game and slowly found their groove.
However, the man who impressed the most for Flamengo was the winger Bruno Henrique who emerged as a continuous threat for the Liverpool defence. The match was also marred by controversial decisions – dismissal of Jordan Henderson’s penalty appeal and the foul on Mane. Although, it all seems to have been laid out for Firmino who was destined to score that big goal.
With this win, Jurgen Klopp now has three major trophies under his belt during his time at Liverpool – Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup. The Merseysiders will now head back to England to resume their domestic duties where Leicester City awaits in the Premier League. Klopp’s men will play Leicester and Wolves within a span of two days which will be their last this year.
The year 2019 has been an eventful one for Klopp’s men and given a 11-point lead over reigning champions, Manchester City with a game in hand is truly a Christmas miracle.
Feature image courtesy: AFP/ Giuseppe CACACE