An injury-time winner from Roberto Firmino won a fine game and put Liverpool through to the World Club Cup final. They meet Flamengo on Saturday in what should be another thriller.
With key players injured and rested, Liverpool struggled to create many chances - though they enjoyed the bulk of the possession. But on 12 minutes they took the lead, Mohamed Salah's strength and touch setting up Naby Keita, who finished well.
But Monterrey - a grooved, confident side - came straight back at them, equalising within 120 seconds, Rogelio Funes Mori poaching as Liverpool's defenders stepped out for offside.
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Both sides enjoyed good periods in the second half - Keita missed the best of the chances - but it was Liverpool with the better options off the bench, and after fine work by Salah, two subs - Trent Alexander-Arnold and Firmino - combined gloriously to settle the match.
To beat Flamengo, Liverpool will need to play better than this. The probably will.

Firmino

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT

Spend when you're winning Liverpool looked ragged at times today, and that is because they lack quality replacements in key positions. Takumi Minamino, who arrives in January, is the player they should have signed the summer before last.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) Strong, inventive and irrepressible, he created one goal was key to the other, as well as causing much other mischief.

PLAYER RATINGS

Monterrey: Barovero 7, Medina 6, Montes 6, Sanchez 7, Vangioni 7, Ortiz 6, Rodriguez 6, Pabon 8, Pizarro 7, Gallardo 6, Funes Mori 8. Subs: Layun 6, Meza 6, Gonzalez 6.
Liverpool: Alisson 8, Milner 6, Gomez 5, Henderson 6, Robertson 5, Lallana 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 6, Keita 7, Salah 9, Origi 5, Shaqiri 6. Subs: Mane 6, Alexander-Arnold 8, Firmino 7.

KEY STATS

Trent Alexander-Arnold has provided 20 assists in 2019 - in al competitions - more than any other Premier League player
Naby Keita has scored as many goals in his last three Liverpool games (three) as he managed in his first 41 appearances for the club.

KEY MOMENTS

12’ - GOAL! Monterrey 0-1 Liverpool (Keita) Salah is so strong, and he holds off Sanchez easily before turning to slide a delectable reverse-ball down the blind side of the defence. Keita rampages onto it, drawing the keeper, waiting for him to dive, and lifting a slick finish inside the near post.

14’ -GOAL! Monterrey 1-1 Liverpool (Funes Mori) Well! Monterrey lift it and Ortiz drives a shot over, then they win a free-kick, pump it into the box and win the second ball ... allowing Pizarro to swipe a volley that Alisson saves well ... only for Funes Mori, following up, to stick away. I wonder if Pizarro was offside, but VAR says nothing. That's what happens when you have two midfielders in defence.

23’ - Liverpool have taken over again, and Salah is in the mood! He takes a pass from Lallana and a gorgeous backheel meets Milner, careering into the box. But he can't quite the ball out of his feet, and pokes a finish wide.

27’ - Hello! Pavon barrels down the right, quickly gets the ball out of his feet, and thunders a shot across Alisson that the keeper beats away. Good shot, good save.

58’ - Here comes Keita - he's timing his runs brilliantly today, collecting a loose ball, swishing past a challenge and spanking a shot into Barovero's chest. That was such a chance!

66’ - Aaargh here come Monterrey! Medina swings in a lovely ball to the back post where Milner does brilliantly to hold off Pizarro, but Monterrey work it back across to the other side of the box and Pabon shoots ... over!

74’ - WHAT A MISS! Liverpool carve Monterrey open, a ball from Oxlade-Chamberlain sending Milner away! He cuts back for Origi, who should score, but instead diverts one that's going wide into Mane's back ... and it still goes wide.

90+1’ - GOAL! Monterrey 1-2 Liverpool (Firmino) LIVERPOOL ONLY NEED ONE! Salah skates into the box beating one man, bumping another, and laying back for Alexander-Arnold, who feeds a luscious ball into the near post, where Firmino feathers a very deft touch into the net!
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