Liverpool won an entertaining UEFA Super Cup, beating Chelsea 5-4 on penalties after extra time was needed to separate the sides, with the match finishing 2-2 after extra time.
Olivier Giroud gave Chelsea the lead with ten minutes to go in the first half, finding the bottom corner with a clinical finish, before Sadio Mane bundled the ball past Kepa with only two minutes played in the second half to make the score 1-1.
With the scores level after ninety minutes, the game went to extra time. Mane claimed his second goal of the game with a powerful strike to put Liverpool ahead. But the Blues’ equalised from the penalty sport just a couple of minutes later, after Tammy Abraham was fouled by Liverpool ‘keeper Adrian.
Penalties were needed to separate the sides, and after nine successful penalties, Abraham saw his penalty saved, giving Liverpool the Super Cup win.
In the lead up to the game Stephanie Frappart dominated the pre-match conversation, the referee making history by becoming part of the first all-female team of officials to take charge of a major men’s European match.
The French ref had an early decision to make with Mane’s close range effort striking the hand of Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen inside the penalty area after just seven minutes.
Liverpool’s appeals for a spot-kick were waved away, and VAR decided not to take a look at the incident.
The best chance of the opening period fell the way of Chelsea’s Pedro. Some neat, one touch, passing play on the edge of their opponents’ penalty area led to the Spaniard finding enough space to rifle a shot onto the crossbar. The ball rebounded back out and away from danger much to Liverpool’s relief.
Chelsea were playing well, but manager Frank Lampard knew that following his side’s heavy 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on the weekend, the Blues would need to take their chances.
The Blues were beginning to dominate the game and found the opening goal with just under ten minutes to play in the first half. N’golo Kante did well to drive forward, evading a couple of challenges, before laying the ball off to Christian Pulisic.
The former Borussia Dortmund man found Giroud inside the penalty area. The Frenchman took one touch before sliding the ball into the bottom corner, past Adrian to give Chelsea a deserved lead.
It almost got instantly worse for Liverpool. The hardworking Pulisic drilling the ball into the bottom corner of the goal after a jinking run forward. The offside flag was then raised, denying Lampard’s side their second in a matter of minutes.
The half time whistle sounding with Chelsea leading by a goal to nil.
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Liverpool made the perfect start to the second half. Roberto Firmino was brought off the bench at half time by Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp, and the Brazilian made the perfect impact.
With just two minutes played of the second period, a chipped ball by into the area by Fabinho was well won by Firmino, deflecting the ball into the path of his strike-partner Mane, who bundled the ball past Kepa. The ‘keeper unsuccessfully appealed for a foul. 1-1 the score.
Liverpool had started the second half with a frantic and energetic pace, causing their opponents plenty of problems. Firmino’s introduction changing the outlook of the game.
The players were competing in hot conditions in Turkey, and with 25 minutes to go the heat had certainly made an impact on the tempo of the game, with few clear cut chances in the second half.
But with just 15 minutes to play Liverpool almost took the lead. A well worked corner found its way to Salah on the edge of the area who struck a powerful, low effort towards the bottom corner. Despite a deflection, Kepa made an impressive low save before somehow managing to keep out Virgil van Dijk with the rebound from close range.
With the score level the game went to extra time, to find a Super Cup winner.
As they did at the start of the second half, Liverpool made the perfect start to the first half of extra-time. Mane was put through on goal but at a tight angle. The Senegalese arrowing the ball into the top corner, off the crossbar to claim his second goal of the game. Kepa with no chance.
But the game wasn’t done yet. Just a couple of minutes later Chelsea were awarded a penalty and a chance to draw level almost instantly. Adrian bringing down Chelsea substitute Abraham.
A VAR check confirmed the penalty. Jorginho stepped up to take the penalty and cooly finished into the bottom corner.
Chelsea were becoming the stronger side in the second half of extra time, with Mason Mount and Pedro both coming close, but neither side were able to find the winner, and the match went to penalties.
A masterclass in penalty kicks followed with nine penalties scored in a row. But with Abraham needing to score for penalties to go to sudden death, the striker struck his spot kick down the middle of the goal and Adrian saved it with his foot.
Liverpool winning the Super Cup 5-4 on penalties.
Both sides return to league action this weekend, with Liverpool making the journey to face Southampton on Saturday and Chelsea at home to Leicester City on Sunday.
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