Firmino fires Liverpool to Club World Cup glory

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Firmino fires Liverpool to Club World Cup glory

Liverpool won their first Club World Cup trophy after beating Brazilian side Flamengo 1-0 in a hard-fought victory thanks to Roberto Firmino's strike in extra-time. In a game full of goalscoring opportunities, Liverpool were denied an injury-time penalty in normal time by VAR as referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim awarded a spot-kick for a foul on Sadio Mane – only for the decision to be reversed. But with Flamengo's legs tiring in the additional half hour, Liverpool capitalised through a ruthless counter-attack started by Jordan Henderson which Firmino finished off. Liverpool, with the recalled Virgin van Dijk in their ranks, started strongly when Firmino fluffed a chance to beat the keeper after 40 seconds, and Naby Keita clipped a shot just over the bar after good work from Henderson. In the second half, there was miserable news for Liverpool when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain rolled his ankle and had to be stretchered off. VAR was then needed to check an injury time tackle from Rafinha on Mane that first led to a penalty, before the foul was rescinded entirely with a confusing refereeing decision. The game was decided in extra time when Firmino’s calm, well-taken finish converted a counterattack, setting up Jurgen Klopp’s side for a return to a Premier League campaign they should now go on to win.