UEFA Super Cup Final: Liverpool edge out Chelsea on penalties in Istanbul
An entertaining UEFA Super Cup Final saw Liverpool and Chelsea battle to a 2-2 draw after extra time, with the Merseyside club winning 5-4 after a tense penalty shoot-out at Vodafone Park in Istanbul.
The penalty shoot-out saw the first nine spot-kicks converted before Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham’s effort was saved by Liverpool’s stand-in goalkeeper Adrian to secure the Anfield club an early-season trophy after a thrilling encounter.
Chelsea made the breakthrough after 35 minutes when Olivier Giroud superbly guided home Christian Pulisic’s perfectly-weighted pass. Then Pulisic thought he’d added a second minutes later with an excellent weaving run and shot, only for his effort to be correctly ruled out for offside.
Liverpool needed a second-half spark, and manager Jurgen Klopp made a half-time change, throwing striker Roberto Firmino into the mix. And it took the Brazilian just three minutes to make an impact as he broke through Chelsea’s defense and squared the ball for Sadio Mane to bundle home and level the scores.
With 15 minutes remaining and Liverpool piling on the pressure, Blues’ keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made a stunning double-save to deny first Mohamed Salah, then Virgil van Dijk as the Chelsea custodian ensured the match went into a period of extra time.
Liverpool roared into an early lead in the additional period when Mane superbly side-footed a Firmino cut-back into the top corner from 12 yards, but a controversial penalty award by referee Stephanie Frappert gifted Chelsea the opportunity to draw level again from the spot through Jorginho.
The spot-kick was awarded for a foul by Adrian on Abraham, who appeared to go to ground under little contact after pushing the ball out of play.
But when Abraham himself had to step up to face Adrian from 12 yards, it was the Spanish keeper who won the duel as he saved the young striker’s spot-kick and sealed the victory after an entertaining night’s football in Turkey.