Liverpool won the UEFA Super Cup for a fourth time following a 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat of Premier League rivals Chelsea, after the match finished 2-2 after extra-time in Istanbul.
The Reds came from behind, only to then spurn the lead themselves in extra time, and eventually needed spot kicks to prevail. Goalkeeper Adrián, playing due to an Alisson Becker injury, was the unlikely hero.
The Blues took the lead in the first-half when Christian Pulisic put through Olivier Giroud, who made no mistake with a cool left-footed finish.
Bobby Firmino was brought on for Liverpool at half-time and changed the game, setting up Sadio Mane for a simple finish shortly after the re-start.
After Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa made a heroic double save from first Mo Salah, then Virgil van Dijk the game went to extra-time.
Although Mane got his second with a beautiful finish, Jorginho equalized from the penalty spot after Abraham was brought down by Adrian.
After an enthralling contest that finished 2-2 after extra time, the game went to penalties.
The 32-year-old goalkeeper, Adrian, who was released by West Ham at the end of last season, arrived at Anfield only last week after signing on to replace the departing Simon Mignolet.
The former West Ham goalkeeper — who was handed his first Liverpool start in the Super Cup — saved Tammy Abraham’s weak penalty to give Liverpool a 5-4 victory to win their first trophy of the season.
Jurgen Klopp was ecstatic after his new goalkeeper, Adrian, became the hero of Liverpool’s Super Cup triumph against Chelsea.
Istanbul is already a special place for the Reds following their stunning Champions League triumph against AC Milan in 2005, and once again the Turkish city played host to a continental success for the Anfield giants.
“What a story — Adrian! Like Rocky after he lost to Apollo Creed,” Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp said after the game. “He kept his nerves together. 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.”
“I don’t know where he was two weeks ago when we were playing Manchester City,” Klopp said at the post-match press conference, 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.”
“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,” Klopp added.
“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.”