Monterrey 1 - 2 Liverpool
Monterrey: Funes Mori 14’
Liverpool: Keita 12’, Firmino 90’
Van Dijk is either down with illness or being rested, depending on whether you want to believe the official story. So the big story is that captain Jordan Henderson is back at center back. I’m confident he can do a job. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane start on the bench, but with Mohamed Salah, Divock Shaqiri, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Xherdan Shaqiri all getting the start, there should be more than enough firepower to see the CONCACAF Champions off.
Hendo immediately impresses, keeping a high line with Joe Gomez, catching Monterrey offside by several feet.
GOAL! It’s the Salah-Keita Connection once again! Mo holds it up, fending off two defenders, before playing a through ball for Naby, who finishes with ease past the keeper. 1-0 early!
Goal. Well, that was an exciting lead for three minutes. Monterrey equalize with a bit of luck on a set-piece, and worse, it was scored by Funes Mori, the brother of that Funes Mori.
The ref is letting Monterrey get away with murder. Nearly literally after a nasty and late challenge on a Milner header, leading to a scary head-to-head collision. Shocking that’s not a yellow, at minimum.
With half an hour gone, this might come as a bit of a shock, but we’re missing Van Dijk in defense, and Henderson in midfield. Unless Klopp has an ace up his sleeve, it seems unlikely that either of those problems will be solved. Perhaps bringing on Trent and moving Milly centrally would help?
Someone with a Scottish accent was not thrilled about a Monterrey player rolling around on the ground after a nothing challenge. “Fucking hell, honestly” seemed to be the exact verbiage. Could have been anyone.
Alisson comes up big—bigger than he should have had to tonight—getting some finger tips to a really dangerous cross.
Liverpool end the half with a bit of a flurry, but things are breaking down at the last moment. Keita, in particular, has been a live wire.
Well, that was a frustrating half. Let’s, you know, score some goals, yeah?
Woooow. Finally a yellow for Monterrey for a late challenge on Shaqiri! Already an improvement!
That said, Monterray force Alisson to make two more saves in rapid succession. Yeah, they were shots from distance, but...come on Liverpool, do something.
Joe Gomez takes a yellow for a rugby tackle in midfield, and the yellow might have been generous because Funes Mori might have been through. I would really like Klopp to please make a sub.
Liverpool are living dangerously. Monterrey continue to put this makeshift defense under pressure, and not nearly enough is being created the other direction. Thankfully, Klopp seems to have heard all of our prayers, and is bringing Sadio Mane on for Shaq, who has been pretty poor today. Though, it could have easily been Divock who got the hook, neither have impressed. A few minutes later, he brings on Alexander-Arnold on for Milly. OK lads, let’s GO.
Kitchen sink time with about six minutes plus stoppage time remaining in regulation; Origi gets the hook for Bobby Firmino. We could really do without this going to extra time and pens.
GOAL!! BOBBY TURNS IN THE WINNER IN STOPPAGE TIME! Mo does brilliantly to keep the ball alive in the box, lays it off to Trent, who plays in a dangerous ball for Firmino to turn past the keeper!
Liverpool did the thing. Barely. If they underestimated today’s opponent, they probably won’t make the same mistake twice on Saturday. Up the heartbreaking, piss-boiling Reds.