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Destiny is now calling; ANALYSIS.

Byline: IAN DOYLE Sports Reporter ian.doyle@trinitymirror.com @IANDOYLESPORT ANALYSIS

THERE was no way the Brazilian contingent were allowing Liverpool to miss their date with destiny on Wednesday.

Not with compatriots Flamengo eagerly lying in wait.

What England and Europe have long grown accustomed to became apparent on the world stage as Jurgen Klopp's side underlined why they are now one game away from being crowned the greatest team on the globe.

Monterrey were the latest opponents to be devastated by an injury-time intervention in the FIFA Club World Cup semi.

Defeat was unthinkable, Liverpool having essentially given up hope of Carabao Cup progress to prioritise the only major trophy they've yet to win.

And, as injury and illness bit further into an already small squad, Klopp's options - and, more pertinently, his defence - were stretched to breaking point.

Jordan Henderson deserves huge credit, answering a late call with a performance that belied the fact he'd never before played for the Reds in the position.

No wonder Klopp made a beeline to him at the final whistle. Mohamed Salah was another who shone, coping well with the expectation that comes with being a genuine icon to the Arab football community.

But, despite dominating possession in the first half, the Reds could muster only two or three real opportunities.

In the second half, clever feet created a chance for Keita which Barovero saved, and Divock Origi put one wide.

However, it was only when Mane, Alexander-Arnold and Firmino were introduced that, with the game becoming stretched and their superior fitness starting to show, Liverpool started to seriously threaten a winner, which came after Salah's persistence kept the ball alive.

Klopp said before the game Liverpool hadn't flown thousands of miles just to put on a show - they are here in Qatar to win.

Flamengo await tomorrow, 1981 and all that. Destiny is calling.

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Author:IAN DOYLE Sports Reporter ian.doyle@trinitymirror.com @IANDOYLESPORT ANALYSIS
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 20, 2019
Words:312
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