Penalty thriller sees Liverpool take Super Cup triumph


Adrian heroics saw Jurgen Klopp win his second trophy as Liverpool manager.

The sides walked out to a capacity crowd littered with Red in Istanbul, with Liverpool looking the overwhelming favourites after Chelsea’s battering at Old Trafford.

The Reds lined up with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the first time since April 2018, and left notable cogs Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the bench with the likes of Ki-Jana Hoever, Rhian Brewster and Harvey Elliott also making the trip.

Frank Lampard’s Blues elected for a more experienced eleven than the weekend, with Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante returning to the starting line-up.

The Reds began in the ascendancy, with Lampard’s men looking vulnerable to the pace of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane on the counter. Fabinho came the closest with a cross-shot stinging Kepa’s gloves. Pedro whipped a ball past Adrian’s post shortly afterwards.

Chelsea looked ever more dangerous in behind Liverpool’s back-line though the balls were mostly played to Giroud, who’s pace isn’t a key attribute. It was the Frenchman who opened the scoring though.

After being played through, the striker slotted home past the Reds’ number 13. 1-0 Chelsea, and a thoroughly deserved lead.

New signing Christian Pulisic was impressive in his first start in a Chelsea jersey, and once again Adrian was beaten. However, the officials and VAR ruled it out for offside. A correct decision.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came off at half time after looking sharp in the first 45, thus seeing the introduction of key man Roberto Firmino to the fray. And it didn’t take long for the Brazilian to make a difference.

After good interchanging movement, Fabinho chipped to Firmino who squared to Mane, and after a scuffle with Arrizabalaga, the Senegal international slotted into an empty net.

The match continued in a congested fashion, with Liverpool’s defensive line coming into question yet again with the ball past Adrian for a third time, but yet again the officials disallowed Mason Mount a first competitive Chelsea goal.

Kepa then once again proved his worth for Lampard, first with a save from Salah’s deflected shot, then with an instinctive save onto the crossbar from Virgil van Dijk. Extra Time awaited.

Alexander-Arnold replaced Andy Robertson, who looked distinctly average for the Scotsman’s high standards in the 90, with Chelsea bringing on Fiyako Tomori as their final change.

A questionable decision with Liverpool facing Southampton in less than 72 hours time, extra time commenced with the Reds firing first.

After a clever ball through to Roberto Firmino, the Brazilian cut back to the edge of the box to Mane who, at a tough angle of reception, smashed into the top-right corner with the instep and the Reds led 2-1. Mane’s brace, and the winger showed no signs of rustiness following his late return from the African Cup of Nations.

The Reds showed again a lack of concentration though, and after Pedro’s footwork made light of Joe Gomez, Tammy Abraham nudged past Adrian and fell to the ground. Although there was minimal contact, a penalty was given and backed up by the video assistant referee.

Jorginho with his typical hop, skip run-up slotted home, and it was 2-2.

Cramp and tiredness crept in further still, with Abraham and Mount coming close and testing Liverpool’s second choice ‘keeper even more. With pressure mounting, Stephanie Frappart blew her whistle and penalties were to decide the 2019 Super Cup.

The first 5 penalties were exhibition-like, with Jorginho beating Adrian again with a slotted finish.

Kepa came close to both Divock Origi and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s efforts, and Mason Mount kept his cool to smash into the upper echelons.

Mo Salah usurped his penalty in Madrid with a cool slotted strike into the bottom left corner, and unfortunately all the pressure fell on the young shoulders of Tammy Abraham.

A stuttered run-up waiting for the movement of Adrian, but after a poor penalty straight down the middle, Adrian’s boot cannoned into the ball and sent it flying, winning the UEFA Super Cup for Liverpool.

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Finally, a special mention to the first full team of female officials to referee a UEFA men’s match, including Ligue 1 referee Stephanie Frappart, performed excellently throughout the 90 minutes and hardly put a foot wrong, with the only questionable decision the penalty which VAR agreed with. Hopefully we see more of this in the future.


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Sports Journalism student, streamer at LFC Transfer Room, Anfield Agenda. Liverpool fan with a particular interest in Welsh, Youth, and African football.

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