Liverpool cap memorable year with Club World Cup triumph

DOHA: Jurgen Klopp described winning the Club World Cup as “absolutely sensational” after Roberto Firmino’s extra-time goal allowed Liverpool to beat Flamengo 1-0 in the final in Doha on Saturday and lift the trophy for the first time.

Firmino was picked out by Sadio Mane and waited for goalkeeper Diego Alves to commit before slotting low into the net in the 99th minute of an absorbing contest at the Khalifa International Stadium.

It was the moment that finally punctured the hopes of the Brazilian side and their vibrant support, after Liverpool had been denied a penalty by VAR right at the end of normal time.

The Qatari referee initially gave a spot-kick for a foul on Mane by Rafinha on the way into the box, but changed his mind following a lengthy review, forcing the contest into an extra 30 minutes.

Still the European champions had enough to come out on top, with Firmino repeating his semi-final heroics, when he scored an injury-time winner against Monterrey of Mexico.

“I couldn’t be more happy for him that he could score that goal because before the game we spoke a lot about what this competition means to South American people and especially Brazilian people,” Klopp said.

“It means the world to him, it helped us and on top of that it was a sensational goal.”

The victory completes a fabulous year for Liverpool, with a third piece of silverware to go with the Champions League and UEFA Supercup.

Having earned the title of world champions, if Klopp’s team see out their huge lead at the top of the Premier League, they will have a case to be remembered as the finest side in the illustrious history of the club.

“I said before the game that I didn’t know how it would feel, but now I can say it’s outstanding, absolutely sensational and I’m so proud of the boys,” Klopp said after winning a competition that has not always been held in high regard in Europe.

Flamengo had been hoping to repeat their win over Liverpool in the old Intercontinental Cup in 1981 and thereby become the first non-European winners of the Club World Cup since fellow Brazilians Corinthians beat Chelsea in 2012.


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