Liverpool have made history with their first ever Club World Cup triumph as they beat Flamengo 1-0 in Qatar.
However, they needed extra-time to get past the passionate Brazilians and it was Roberto Firmino’s composed finish that separated the two sides.
The Premier League leaders thought they had a penalty just before the end of normal time but the referee overturned the decision following a lengthy look at VAR.
But Liverpool didn’t let that get them down as they head back to England with the only trophy that had eluded the club before.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were sloppy in the semi-finals but started excellently in the final and could have had three goals inside the opening five minutes.
Firmino, who scored the winner against Monterrey, should have scored after 40 seconds when he controlled Trent Alexander-Arnold’s hopeful long ball but could only blaze over.
Then it was Liverpool’s other scorer in the semis, Naby Keita, who missed a chance. Mohamed Salah found himself in space after controlling Jordan Henderson’s long ball, the Egyptian then teed up Keita who could only fire over.
And then it was Alexander-Arnold who went close when he rifled the ball just wide of the goal from around 25 yards out.
Flamengo grew into the game and started to get some joy on the left with the dangerous Bruno Henrique. He found himself clean through on goal on 26 minutes and his shot only failed to test Alisson Becker due to Joe Gomez’s excellent last-ditch block.
The Reds made a decent start to the second half and almost went in front through Firmino again but his effort cannoned off the post.
Meanwhile, Salah put the ball just wide after getting on the end of Alexander-Arnold’s low cross.
The game’s first shot on target actually came on 52 minutes and it was Gabriel Barbosa, or ‘Gabigol’ as he’s known, who forced Alisson into making a smart save to his right.
Liverpool’s first shot on target saw Flamengo glovesman Diego Alves produce a spectacular save as he tipped Jordan Henderson’s long-range effort over the bar.
The Reds have a habit of making it count in stoppage-time and it looked like they’d done it again when Mane was put through on goal and was felled by Rafinha.
A penalty was given but referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim consulted VAR as it looked like the contact may have happened outside the box.
But then the decision was somehow overturned and Rafinha’s yellow card he was originally given was rescinded as the game went to extra-time.
Liverpool could have been forgiven for thinking it wasn’t going to be their day but Klopp’s ‘mentality monsters’ dusted themselves down and took the lead nine minutes into the first half of extra-time.
Mane was put through by a brilliant Henderson ball, the Senegalese found Firmino in acres of space and the No.9 went round the keeper and the onrushing defenders before firing the ball home.
Flamengo were weary from then on but really should have scored in the final moments, however, substitute Lincoln put the ball over the bar from little more than six yards out as Liverpool went from European to world champions at the fourth time of asking.