August 24, 2019
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New keeper Adrian is the hero as Liverpool wins 4th Super Cup

Istanbul, Aug 15 (efe-epa).- Days after joining the club, Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian saved a Chelsea penalty here early Thursday to secure victory for the Reds in the UEFA Super Cup.

Just as 14 years ago in their epochal Champions League final against AC Milan, Liverpool saw a European match in Istanbul go to penalties.

The Champions League holders had to come from behind against the Europa League-winning Blues to extend the contest past the regulation 90 minutes and then saw their 2-1 lead in the first extra time evaporate with the awarding of a controversial penalty to Chelsea.

Adrian was signed last week from West Ham United as a backup and would not have been the starter Wednesday night but for the injury to top keeper Alisson last Friday in Liverpool's Premier League opener.

Now, after just two matches in a Liverpool shirt, the Spaniard has already inscribed his name in the history of the iconic English side.

Chelsea, coming off a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United in the Premier League last weekend, were tentative in the opening minutes, ceding possession to Liverpool.

Mohamed Salah had a chance to give the Reds an early lead, but Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made an impressive save, giving the Blues time to find their stride.

Pedro created the first chance for the Blues, a strike that hit the cross-bar, while Olivier Giroud's bicycle kick missed the target.

Midfielder N'Golo Kante, who missed Chelsea's domestic opener due to a nagging injury, was the architect of the first goal, connecting with Christian Pulisic deep in Liverpool territory.

The 20-year-old US international slipped the ball to Giroud and the Frenchman beat Adrian with a low drive to put Chelsea up 1-0 in the 36th minute.

Pulisic made it 2-0 four minutes later, but Stephanie Frappart, the first woman to referee a European final, disallowed the goal for a Chelsea offside.

Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp made what turned out to be a decisive change to start the second half, replacing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Roberto Firmino, who combined with Fabinho to set up Sadio Mane's equalizer in the 48th minute.

Kepa came up big again to stop Salah and Virgil van Dijk in quick succession on a Liverpool corner.

Both sides threatened in the final stretch of regulation and the Blues had another goal called back on an offside. This time, it was Mason Mount who saw his celebration cut short and the teams remained deadlocked at the end of regulation

Liverpool needed just five minutes to surge ahead 2-1 on Mane's second goal of the night, again with help from Firmino. But with five minutes left in the first extra-time period, Chelsea were awarded a penalty.

Blues striker Tammy Abraham went down in the box after a brush with Adrian. Frappart consulted VAR and pointed to the spot, stunning Liverpool and many in the stands.

Jorginho converted to level the score at 2-2 and Adrian stopped Mount from close range to send the match to penalties as the clock passed midnight in Istanbul.

Firmino, Fabinho, Divock Origi and Trent Alexander-Arnold scored for Liverpool. Jorginho, Ross Barkley, Mount and Emerson converted for the Blues to set the stage for sudden death.

Salah did the job for Liverpool before Adrian saved a timid effort from Abraham to clinch the triumph for the Reds. EFE

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