Liverpool backup goalkeeper Adrian goes from zero to hero as the Reds beat Chelsea on penalties in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup.
The final score after extra time stood at 2-2 but a stretched out save by Liverpool’s new custodian on Chelsea’s final spot kick clinched victory for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
The traditional continental curtain raiser took place in Istanbul, a familiar location for all Liverpool fans, adding extra excitement to the build up of the match.
After a gruelling, humid 120 minute affair, in which Liverpool weren’t at their best, Jurgen Klopp’s mentality monsters eventually ran out kings of Europe on penalties.
Call me bias, but this could have been the greatest sporting performance in the history of sport.
Adrian humiliated Giroud when he took a close range shot after being flagged for offside, only for the greatest Spanish ‘keeper of all time to save it anyway. Also made a variety of solid stops too.
Unfairly had a penalty given against him but then went on to make the winning save in the shoot-out. Hero.
Joe Gomez – 5.5
Yet again Gomez struggled at fullback. He was fairly poor defensively and even worse going forward. At one point he even tripped over his own feet while dribbling in a promising position.
It’ss clear to see that Joe’s best position is at the heart of the defence next to his best mate, Virgil.
Virgil van Dijk – 7
A fairly standard game for Virgil, although likewise with his teammates, the colossus just wasn’t at his best today.
Van Dijk took a bit of a knock at one point but he seemed to play on fine, although may be rested for his expected hostile return to St Mary’s on Saturday.
Joel Matip – 7.5
Matip needs to be the first-choice to play alongside Virgil from here on out.
The lanky centre-half has been a revelation since the latter half of last season. Every time he dribbles the ball up the field, there’s a collective inhale by Reds fans the world over. But he doesn’t often disappoint.
He was immense against Chelsea, bar the first goal, and should be in the lineup for Saturday’s game against Southampton.
Andy Robertson – 6
A below standard and fairly poor performance today from the usually reliable Scotsman.
Although he didn’t make any noteworthy errors, he didn’t contribute in an attacking sense to what he is capable of and played in a few sub-par crosses.
Perhaps a victim of his own high standards.
Fabinho – 7.5
Yep, you guessed it, following on with the recurring theme, the Brazillian wasn’t at his best and at times looked a little bit slow. However, he covered an incredible amount of distance.
He did keep his penalty reputation intact by slotting home a perfect spot kick in the shootout.
James Milner – 3
I think somebody may have forgot their pre-match Ribena. An awful performance from the Yorkshireman, who was rightly hooked off after about 64 minutes.
Milly misplaced passes and was poor all round.
Generally just didn’t match the requirements for a European final.
Jordan Henderson – 6.5
An average performance from the skipper who is certainly capable of playing better.
He started quite brightly and whipped in a couple dangerous looking crosses.
Ran his heart out as always, however, he wasn’t effective enough with the ball. Unfortunately, he began to disappear more as the game ran it’s cause, but ultimately it was a good enough performance.
Mohamed Salah- 7.5
The Egyiptian King looked lively at times and was impressive with his dribbling ability.
This was on full display as he went on a mazy run, nutmegging two players late in the game.
Aside from the short highlight reel, however, he wasn’t quite up to his best standards and perhaps could have been more effective going forward.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 4
Although it was a very poor performance from the Ox, he deserves to be cut some slack.
Making his first professional start in more than 18 months, while being out of position excuses this shocker.
He struggled to get into the game and had very few touches of the ball, before being substituted for Bobby Firmino 45 minutes in.
Sadio Mane – 8.5
After a fairly quiet first half, a very impressive return back to the starting XI for the Senegalese superstar, chipping in with two goals.
The first was a simple tap in but the second was a thunderous strike into the roof of the net.
As well as a good goal scoring performance, he also looked quite lively with the ball at his feet and looked a level above most of the other players.
Bobby Firmino – 8.5
Surprisingly, Bobby was left out of the starting XI and the team were crying out for him throughout the first-half.
When he did come on, he delivered what everyone needed, making an immediate impact, assisting Sadio Mane after just two minutes.
The Brazillian then became fairly quiet as the half went on, but early into extra time set up Mane yet again with a lovely cutback to put the Reds in front.
Divock Origi – 7
The man for the big occasion came on 103 minutes in. He drove at defenders and fired a few dangerous crosses in during his short cameo.
Slightly too high rating for burying a fantastic penalty which Kepa couldn’t quite keep out to help Liverpool win the shoot-out.
Gini Wijnaldum – 6
Following poor performances recently in Madrid, against Man City and Norwich, the hero against Barcelona had a chance to try impress again tonight. He didn’t.
He was better than Milner but still misplaced too many passes and had three of his first five passes intercepted.
Trent Alexander-Arnold- 6.5
Another surprising exclusion was that of the 20 year old phenomenon, Trent.
Perhaps down to Klopp trusting Gomez slightly more defensively against the pacey Pulisic, Trent was left out and didn’t feature until extra time.
He didn’t do much or have a great deal to do so it was quite a hard one to rate.
Trent took the pressure of taking a penalty and was another one of the heroes to score, so again bonus points.
A fairly negative ratings review from an otherwise satifying victory. Now the attention returns to the Premier League this Saturday against Southampton.
Up the (Super) European Champion Reds