Both Flamengo and Liverpool travelled to Qatar in dominant league positions, Flamengo had already wrapped up their league campaign, winning the Brasiliero Serie A by a 16 point margin, while Liverpool held a 10 point lead over second-placed Leicester City with a game in hand as their Premier League fixture against West Ham United was postponed due to Liverpool’s participation ion this tournament.
Flamengo booked their place in the FIFA Club World Cup final after coming from behind against Al Hilal to win 3-1, while Liverpool beat eventual 3rd placed Monterrey 2-1 in their respective semi-final.
Both sides had won their respective major continental competitions, with Liverpool beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League and Flamengo victorious over River Plate 2-1 in the COMNEBOL Libertadores.
Liverpool have been unbeaten in the Premier League for just under a year, with their last loss coming at the hands of Manchester City, who beat the Reds 2-1 in January. Flamengo went unbeaten for 24 games in the Brasiliero Serie A before losing 4-0 on the final day, after already clinching the title.
In this tactical analysis, I’ll take a look at the tactics Jürgen Klopp used to crown Liverpool as Club World Cup champions, and, using analysis, see what went wrong for Flamengo that made them miss out on winning the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time, with Liverpool lifting the trophy for the first time in their history, with a defeat to Brazilian side São Paulo in 2005.
Liverpool lined up in their standard 4-3-3 formation. Alisson started in goal. Joël Matip and Dejan Lovren were out through injury so Joe Gomez played alongside Virgil van Dijk, with Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold at left back and right back respectively. Naby Keïta, Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started in midfield behind Liverpool’s famous front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mané. Both
Flamengo lined up in a 4-4-2 hybrid shape, with heavy positional interchange. Diego Alves started in goal, protected by a back four of Filipe Luís, Pablo Marí, Rodrigo Caio, and Rafinha. Willian Arão and Gerson started in central midfield.
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