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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020
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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of this evening’s Club World Cup final between Liverpool and Flamengo. 

Kick-off in Doha is at 5.30pm but the team news is already in, and as expected Jurgen Klopp has named a strong starting 11.  

The big news for Liverpool fans is that Virgil van Dijk has overcome the illness that saw him miss the semi-final defeat of Mexican side Monterrey, while Klopp also brings Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino back into his team.

Flamengo stick with the same starting team from their 3-1 win over Al-Hilal.

The Brazilian side famously beat Liverpool in this competition back in 1981, and their supporters haven’t be shy of signing about it in Doha.

Is a repeat on the cards? Or will Liverpool get their hands on the the trophy for the first time, having finished as runners up in 2005?

We’ll be back closer to kick-off, see you then!

 

We’re less than 10 minutes away from kick-off at the Khalifa International Stadium, and as you can see below, the Qatar Reds are in the building.

Liverpool have been quite open about their desire to win this competition, even if English sides have generally been a bit lackadaisical in their approach to the Club World Cup.

The last English team to win the trophy was Manchester United in 2008. 

Wayne Rooney scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against Ecuador side Lige de Quito, with a team that also included Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra. Reckon they would give Klopp’s Liverpool a good game.

liverpool-v-flamengo-fifa-club-world-cup-final-khalifa-international-stadium Source: Adam Davy

The teams line up for the Club World Cup anthem. It hasn’t got a patch on the Champions League anthem in our humble opinion.

The referee is Qatar’s Abdulrahman Al Jassim.

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KICK-OFF

We’re underway in Doha.

Both sets of supporters are very loud already, and Firmino fires an early effort over the bar after about 50 seconds. This could be a lot of fun.

CHANCE!

5mins

Keita fires wildy over the bar after the pull-back from Salah. The move started with a superb ball over top by Jordan Henderson for Salah. Pirlo-esqe even. 

Alexander-Arnold has also smashed a low effort narrowly wide. All Liverpool so far.

10mins

There’s not a whole lot going on at the moment. Sadio Mane escapes a yellow card for a high foot, Flamengo goalkeeper Diego Alves calls one of his defenders over to tie his laces for him, and lots of players use the chance to take a water break. 

15mins

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looking bright for Liverpool, making a few strong runs towards the box without finding any end product.

It’s also worth mentioning Flamengo manager Jorge Jesus’ hair. It’s glorious. Very Dustin Hoffman in All The President’s Men. 

Elsewhere, Kevin de Bruyne has hit the bar for Manchester City, but it’s still 0-0 15 minutes into their Premier League game at home to Leicester City. Or the Kelechi Iheanacho derby, as we’re calling it. He’s on the bench for the Foxes, waiting for his to steal the headlines. 

Riyad Mahrez, another player to play for both teams, is also looking very dangerous for City.

CHANCE!

20mins

Kind of…

Some good play by Flamengo but when the ball is pulled across the box there’s no-one there, and Liverpool easily clear the danger. The Brazlian side are starting to grow into the game.

Oh my.

Leicester lead at City, and it’s……….. Jamie Vardy! (sorry) 

Brendan Rodgers side 1-0 up at the Etihad after 22minutes, despite City being all over them so far.

26mins

All Flamengo at the moment, but they look limited going forward. 

Bruno Henrique beats Alexander-Arnold to a ball over the top, but the shot is deflected wide by Joe Gomez. They take the resulting corner short and nothing comes of it. 

30mins

Following up on our earlier update on Jorge Jesus’ hair…

Game slowing down a bit, but the referee is also blowing for some very questionable decisions.

liverpool-v-flamengo-fifa-club-world-cup-final-khalifa-international-stadium Source: Adam Davy

And it’s 1-1 between Man City and Leicester, Riyad Mahrez with the goal. It’s been coming.

35mins

Flamengo want a handball but the referee is having none of it.

Rafinha, who has looked the most dangerous for Flamengo, whipped in the cross and Bruno Henrique’s header was blocked but handball would have been very harsh. 

Flamengo looking good now, putting some decent moves together, and look like the more likely to break the deadlock. 

WASTED OPPORTUNITY!

37mins

Liverpool counter after a poor Flamengo corner and Salah bursts forward down the left. He’s got options ahead of him but miscues the pass and the attack breaks down.

Klopp looking increasingly frustrated on the sideline. This hasn’t been a very convincing first half from the Reds.

40mins

Better from Liverpool now.

Alexander-Arnold whips in a cross but it’s cleared. Liverpool attack again, Mane plays in Salah, who tries a neat return pass, but Mane’s run is blocked by Filipe Luis. Referee waves play on but looked as though Mane had a case. 

41mins

Still 0-0 in Doha.

A free kick is whipped in from deep by Robertson, and a mass of bodies fall to the ground in the box. Henderson maybe had a case for a penalty, but the referee gives the free out, and nobody is really sure why. 

And it’s 2-1 to Manchester City against Leicester.

An Ilkay Gundogan penalty puts City in the lead after 43 minutes.

Yellow card

45mins

Sadio Mane goes in the book for a throwing Rafinha to the ground, but to be fair to Mane he was initially being held back as Liverpool countered. He’s not happy about it. 

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Half-time

0-0

A lot of angry faces as the teams head into the dressing rooms after a strange first half.

Liverpool started well but faded as Flamengo grew into the game, and the Brazilians played plenty of good football, even if Klopp’s team had the clearer chances.

The Premier League leaders will be disappointed with how that opening 45 minutes went, and are clearly not happy with some of the refereeing. We’ll be back in 15 minutes for the second half. 

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45mins

We’re back underway in Doha.

Hopefully it’s more exciting than the first half, where there wasn’t a single shot on target.

Flamengo also enjoyed 58% of the possession, so Liverpool really need to lift it for the second 45. No changes for either side.

OFF THE POST!

48mins

That looked like the moment for Liverpool.

Firmino did really well to flick the ball over the head of a Flemengo defender, but from point-blank range he scuffed his shot and watched it bounce off the post. You would have put your house on him to finish that, but it stays goalless in Qatar.

CHANCE!

49mins

Liverpool starting to click, and Salah flashes a first time shot wide under pressure.

CHANCE!

53mins

Gabriel Barbisa fires over from the edge of the box for Flamengo, but he was leaning back as he lined up the shot.

Moments later he forces a good save from Allison after a powerful low drive. Liverpool find themselves scrambling from the resulting corner, but Firmino gets back to make an important headed clearance.

CHANCE!

55mins

0-0

It’s all happening now.

Oxlade-Chamberlain should really have done better after finding himself in a good position on the left of the Flamengo box, but he plays the ball right off a defender and the ball bounces away from danger. Robertson fires in a low shot but it lands at the feet of Firmino, who knew little about it, and he’s called for offside.

67mins

Another corner for Flamengo after Van Dijk stands firm to block a Vitinho shot wide. They play the corner short again, but nothing comes of it. Few boos starting to ring around the stadium now, this game could really do with a goal. 

CHANCE!

69 mins

0-0

Allison gets down low to his left to save a Barbosa’s overhead kick. 

A bit more power behind the shot and the Liverpool goalkeeper may have been in trouble there, but it’s a reasonably comfortable save in the end.

Meanwhile Man City are still 2-1 up at home to Leicester.

Make that 3-1 to Man City, Gabriel Jesus has just scored in the 69th minute.

75mins

0-0

A worrying scene as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leaves with an injury.

He seemed to land awkwardly after competing for a header, possibly twisting his knee. The stretcher came out but Oxlade-Chamberlain clearly didn’t want to get on it and limped off instead. Klopp looked very concerned on the sideline, and sends in Adam Lallana. 

Hopefully it’s not too bad for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had that awful knee injury at the end of the 2018 season.

Meanwhile Salah has the ball in the net but it’s rightly flagged for offside.

CHANCE!

81mins

0-0

Firmino cuts the ball back across the box and it misses a string of bodies before falling to Alexander-Arnold. He shifts the ball onto his right foot and his deflected shot goes straight into the arms of Diego Alves.

Maybe should have taken that first-time on his left foot, it was one of the better chances Liverpool have created.

85mins

Lovely work by Alexander-Arnold and Keita to find Salah, but his tame shot is well blocked. 

Flamengo players starting to hit the ground with cramp now. Some of the Liverpool players are quick to tell the referee that they are time-wasting, but he’s having none of it.

WHAT A SAVE!

86mins

Superb shot from distance from Henderson.

It looked like it was heading for the net but Diego Alves produces a brilliant flying save. 

Five minutes of injury time.

Please somebody score…

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PENALTY LIVERPOOL!

90+1mins

Mane goes through and is clipped in the box. We’re going to VAR to double check… 

The tension…

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VAR SAYS NO!

Wow…

VAR shows that the incident happened right on the edge of the box, and that Rafinha didn’t clip Mane. The referee decides no penalty. It’s not even a free kick to Liverpool, no contact is the decision.

Huge moment.

We’re now into the seventh minute of added time…

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Full-time

0-0

We’re going to extra-time in Doha. It hasn’t been the prettiest of encounters, but Liverpool will feel they should have had at least a free-kick for that Mane incident right at the death. 

They looked the more likely as the half wore on, but failed to make the most of the handful of chances they created. 

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KICK-OFF, FIRST HALF EXTRA-TIME

Extra time is up and running in Doha. Plenty of tired legs out on the pitch now, which saw the game open up towards the end of normal time. 

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GOAL!

99mins

Liverpool 1-0 Flamengo

That’s a lovely move from Liverpool, and we finally have a goal in Doha!

Henderson plays a brilliant ball towards Mane from deep in the Liverpool half. Mane does well to hold the ball up and play it across the box to Firmino. The Brazilian shows a cool head to cut inside the defender, leaving Diego Alves stumbling in the Flamengo goal, and finish.

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SECOND HALF, EXTRA-TIME

Liverpool 1-0 Flamengo

106mins

Liverpool are 15 minutes away from being crowned Club World Cup champions. The best team in the world. Take that into consideration if you’re thinking of meeting your Liverpool supporting mates down the pub later.

They fully deserve their lead here and have been the much better team in extra-time. Divock Origi is coming on for goalscorer Firmino. He loves a big game goal, but surely Liverpool will just try see this out now.

CHANCE!

109mins

A Flamengo free kick comes in and Van Dijk should have done better with his headed clearance. The ball falls to Barbosa but he flashes his effort wide. A bit of a let-off for Liverpool.

SAVE!

114mins

Liverpool 1-0 Flamengo

Alves gets down low to block away an Alexander-Arnold free-kick, which was far too close to the Flamengo ‘keeper.

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FULL-TIME

Liverpool 1-0 Flamengo

There you have it, Liverpool are Club World Cup champions for the first time thanks to Roberto Firmino’s winner in extra-time.

It was far from a classic, but Jurgen Klopp’s team are deserving winners. We’ll have a full report and reaction shortly. Thanks for joining us, and Happy Christmas!

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