Jurgen Klopp lauds Adrian after goalkeeper seals Liverpool win over Chelsea

Jurgen Klopp lauded shoot-out hero Adrian after the goalkeeper sealed Liverpool’s Super Cup triumph against Chelsea on another memorable night in Istanbul.

Already a special place for the red half of Merseyside following their stunning Champions League triumph against AC Milan in 2005, the Turkish city once again witnessed continental success for the Anfield giants.

Olivier Giroud put Chelsea ahead in the first half, only for Sadio Mane to level as the match went to extra-time. Mane would score again before Adrian brought Tammy Abraham down in the box, allowing Jorginho to make it 2-2.

Like 14 years ago, it took penalties to split the sides as Adrian wrote his name into folklore at a club he only joined at the start of last week.

The former West Ham goalkeeper was handed his first Liverpool start in the Super Cup due to Alisson Becker’s calf injury and the Spaniard denied Abraham to secure a 5-4 spot-kick success.

“I don’t know where he was two weeks ago when we were playing Manchester City,” Klopp said with a smile, referring to the Reds’ Community Shield shoot-out loss.

“When I spoke to him the first time, it was clear he would take time to get fit. But he has to be fit now and he is.

“He had an incredible game and both goalkeepers made sensational saves, but with Adrian it’s a bit more surprising because it was without pretty much any preparation.

“I don’t know when he played his last game for West Ham, being ready like he was was incredible.

“He has already shown me he is a proper personality in the dressing room as well – he was maybe even louder than I was at half-time. He was really on his toes, and that helps us.

“Making the save from the penalty is the icing on the cake. I saw he even had time to grab his towel before celebrating, so he’s obviously quick in mind! He has helped us a lot and can be really proud what he did tonight.”

It was a dream night for Adrian – and led Klopp to channel his inner Rocky Balboa in the post-match TV interview.

The win was not without controversy as pictures showed the goalkeeper off his line before saving Abraham’s penalty.

That subject that did not come up in the post-match press conference, only Klopp’s thoughts about referee Stephanie Frappart after she became the first female official to take charge of a major UEFA men’s competition event.

“I spoke to the ref team after the game that if we would have played like they whistled, then we would have won 6-0,” the Reds boss said.

“They played a brilliant game. I also said I wasn’t happy with the penalty decision as I’m still not sure but it’s not important anymore.

“They were good, they were really good. There was pressure on them like hell. It was an historic moment and they stayed themselves, stayed calm and did what they had to do in a very difficult and intense game.

“I couldn’t have more respect to be honest. It was a really brilliant performance.”

Liverpool v Chelsea – UEFA Super Cup – Final – Besiktas Park
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard during the UEFA Super Cup Final at Besiktas Park, Istanbul (Nick Potts/PA)

Meanwhile, Chelsea counterpart Frank Lampard told Abraham “not to worry” after his missed spot-kick proved the difference by the Bosphorus.

“The fact that he is confident enough to stand up and want to take a fifth penalty,” the Chelsea boss said. “I have been there, missed penalties. Anyone can.

“I want the confidence of a young player to stand up and want to do that. I said not to worry. He will come back stronger.

“It is part and parcel of being a player in the top level, which Tammy now is. These moments come.

“We have to be very supportive of him. His teammates were, I certainly am. That is football.”

It was a galling loss fresh on the back of Sunday’s 4-0 humbling at Manchester United, but recently-appointed manager Lampard remained upbeat.

“My overall feeling from the game is one of pride in the team’s performance and happiness,” he said.

“I don’t like losing, I’m a terrible loser as you should be at Chelsea.

“We wanted to win, but we were very unfortunate today.

“I am proud of the players and if that is a sign of what we can do today then this season we can get better and it’s a really good sign.”

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