Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson gets his hands on another trophy (Getty)
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson gets his hands on another trophy (Getty)

Kevin Palmer

Adrian’s remarkable rise from West Ham outcast to Liverpool hero was completed in double quick time, as his penalty shoot-out save from Tammy Abraham secured victory in the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea in Istanbul.

In humid conditions that saw both sets of players suffering with cramp in the closing stages of extra-time, the two teams could not be separated in a compelling contest that finished 2-2 as the clocked clicked past midnight in Turkey.

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring for Chelsea after 36 minutes before Liverpool drew level with a goal from Sadio Mane, with the same player handing the European champions a league five minutes into extra time.

Referee Stephanie Frappart then awarded a contentious penalty that was converted by Jorginho, with Adrian stopping Abraham’s penalty with his legs to secure a dramatic 5-4 win for the Reds.

The keeper who didn’t have a club two weeks ago was suddenly cast as the hero in a major European occasion, with Klopp quick to salute the keeper who was allowed to leave West Ham on a free transfer this summer.

“What a story. He kept his nerves together,” declared Klopp as he poured praise on Adrian.

“He’s loud in the dressing room already. I don’t think he’s won a lot in his life so it’s good for him to win it. He made some unbelievable saves, both keepers did, so I’m really happy for him.

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Jurgen Klopp toasts UEFA Super Cup success for Liverpool in Istanbul (Getty)

“It was a night when we just had to find a way to win. Nobody in the stadium wanted extra-time, it was a killer. I’m not sure about the penalty but who cares now.

“We started well then dropped off… we could talk about football but it’s too late now. We had to fight and the boys did tonight.”

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk revealed he gave Adrian a pep talk ahead of the penalty shoot-out, as he hailed the club’s newest hero.

“I told Adrian before penalties he could be the hero tonight and he did it so I’m happy for him and for the club,” said the Dutchman.

“It was a good game to watch for a neutral, but it was tough for both sides. They played well and we had moments of good football, especially at the beginning of the second half.

“We put them under pressure and created chances. We played a higher line and won the second balls. At the beginning (of the game) the gaps were too big.

“I said before the game that anything can happen in a final and in the end the penalties decided the game.”

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard insisted he was satisfied with his team’s performance, despite being denied his first trophy as a manager in agonising fashion.

“I’ve got nothing but pride in the team and the performance, and confidence in what that means,” said Lamaprd.

“It was a tough game against a good Liverpool team that had extra time to recover after the weekend. But sometimes football comes down to little moments of luck.

“Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham added an extra dimension when they came on, and were unlucky not to score. Tammy needs to keep his head up because that’s part and parcel of being a top player.

“People keep talking about the young players at Chelsea. Let’s talk about Jorginho and Kante, and I could name a few others. We’ve got a quality bunch in there, a really good group, and we’re working hard. I’m trying to instill the way I want to play and there were so many good things tonight.

“After Sunday, tonight was another level, and we were unlucky not to win. We’ve got three games now till the international break and we’ll try to win them all.”

Online Editors





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