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Adrian the hero as Reds win UEFA Super Cup


Liverpool sealed a 5-4 penalty-shootout victory over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night, as Adrian saved the decisive spot-kick on his first start.

Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea (5-4 on pens)

UEFA Super Cup, Besiktas Park
August 14, 2019

Goals

Giroud 36′ (assist – Pulisic)
Mane 48′ (assist – Firmino)
Mane 95′ (assist – Firmino)
Jorginho pen 100′ (assist – Abraham)

Penalties

Firmino – SCORED
Jorginho – SCORED
Fabinho – SCORED
Barkley – SCORED
Origi – SCORED
Mount – SCORED
Alexander-Arnold – SCORED
Emerson – SCORED
Salah – SCORED
Abraham – SAVED


In their first Super Cup appearance since 2007, the Reds took to the field with a strong side, as Sadio Mane returned and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first start in 16 months.

Mane began the game up front, with Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left and Mohamed Salah on the right, and the Senegalese had the first effort on goal with an audacious bicycle kick that appeared to strike a hand, but no penalty was given.

Liverpool had pummelled their opponents in the opening stages, but Pedro actually came closest in the first half-hour, driving a powerful shot at the crossbar after Joel Matip‘s attempted lunge.

Adrian, starting in place of the injured Alisson, was forced into a brilliant save, surging off his line, after Pedro threaded Mateo Kovacic onto goal, with the Spaniard making a strong early impression.

He couldn’t stop Olivier Giroud’s strike minutes later, though, with Chelsea taking the lead through the 32-year-old after N’Golo Kante’s bursting run and Christian Pulisic’s deft pass.

Pulisic had the ball in the back of the net again before the break only to be ruled out for offside, with the first half ending 1-0 to the Blues.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - Wednesday, August 14, 2019: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino sets-up team-mate Sadio Mane for the first equalising goal during the UEFA Super Cup match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Besiktas Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
  • Mane returns to XI, Ox makes first start since August 2018
  • Giroud opens scoring in first half dominated by Kante and Pulisic
  • Firmino comes off bench to set up equaliser within three minutes
  • Kepa double save thwarts Salah and Van Dijk; tie goes to extra time
  • Mane’s second cancelled out by Jorginho penalty to set up shootout
  • Adrian saves Abraham’s effort for 5-4 spot-kick victory

Klopp took matters into his own hands at the break as he sent on Roberto Firmino in place of Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the Reds desperately lacking both in midfield and attack in the opening 45.

It took the Brazilian just three minutes to make a telling impact, latching onto Fabinho‘s ball over the top and touching it down for Mane to convert at the second time of asking.

Firmino’s energy changed the game for the better, but the Turkish heat threatened to slow the tempo even further as both sides struggled for fluency.

Punctuating a lull, Kepa Arrizabalaga made a stunning double save to deny Salah and Virgil van Dijk, with his second stop pushing the centre-back’s point-blank effort onto the bar and back out to ensure a period of extra time nobody asked for.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - Wednesday, August 14, 2019: Liverpool's Sadio Mane kneels to pray as he celebrates scoring the first equalising goal during the UEFA Super Cup match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Besiktas Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool were ahead five minutes into the extended period, with Mane finding Firmino’s run behind the defence, then thundering the resulting cutback beyond Kepa and into the top corner.

But then with Tammy Abraham brought down by Adrian, Jorginho stepped up for a cool spot-kick equaliser.

In the end, however, Adrian made a big save in the resulting shootout as the Reds won 5-4 on penalties.


TIA Man of the Match: Roberto Firmino

Referee: Stephanie Frappart

Liverpool: Adrian; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson (Alexander-Arnold 91′); Fabinho, Milner (Wijnaldum 64′), Henderson; Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Firmino 46′), Mane (Origi 103′)

Subs not used: Lonergan, Kelleher, Hoever, Lallana, Shaqiri, Elliott, Brewster

Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen (Tomori 84′), Zouma, Emerson; Kante, Kovacic (Barkley 101′), Jorginho; Pedro, Pulisic (Mount 74′), Giroud (Abraham 74′)

Subs not used: Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Zappacosta, Kenedy, Gilmour, Batshuayi, Willian

Next Match: Southampton (A) – Premier League – Saturday, August 17, 3pm (BST)



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