Liverpool clinched more European silverware on Wednesday night, beating Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup final.
New goalkeeper Adrian made the headlines as his save from Tammy Abraham decided a tense 5-4 penalty shootout.
The Spaniard was involved in more penalty drama in extra time after being judged to have brought down Abraham by VAR.Embed from Getty Images
The decision, which clearly seems an incorrect one, saw Jorghino level from the spot after Sadio Mané’s brace put Liverpool 2-1 up.
It was a good game of football, but Liverpool took a while to get going and were poor in the first half.
The result and performance will give Jürgen Klopp much to think about, but here are my three key talking points.
Goalkeeper Position in Safe Hands With Adrian
After a cruel injury to Alisson against Norwich, many fans were fearing the worst for the rest of the season.
But just 10 days after signing as a free agent, Adrian has written his name into Liverpool folklore.
He performed well in his second appearance, making a terrific save at the feet of Mateo Kovacic early on.Embed from Getty Images
He seems to have settled very well into this Liverpool squad and his dramatic penalty save will only help this.
He’s experienced, will be super confident after the final and should be a perfectly capable deputy for Alisson.
Roberto Firmino Remains Our Most Influential Player
As much as the win was a great moment for Liverpool, there’s no escaping their poor, toothless first-half performance.
Klopp opted to play Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a front-three with Mané and Salah from the start.
We all know by now that Ox always performs better when played centrally, so this was an odd decision.
It proved detrimental to the team, as Ox couldn’t find a way into the game and Liverpool suffered as a result.
He’s clearly still lacking fitness and confidence, but that’s a whole other subject warranting its own article.Embed from Getty Images
At halftime, Klopp realised he needed Roberto Firmino’s presence in the match.
And boy did his presence lift the team.
His movement, intelligence and almost telepathic relationship with Mané and Salah gave Liverpool the extra spark they needed.
He provided two assists for Mané after his introduction, but his all-round play was simply stunning.
His absence in the first half was never more exaggerated than by seeing him on the pitch in the second.
Playing Players Out of Position Will Hurt Liverpool.
Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were played in positions that aren’t their preferred ones.
While Gomez is always relatively comfortable at right-back, he does get caught out.
On numerous occasions, Chelsea targeted his side of the pitch and caught him off guard.
He was pulled inside and the wingers looked to have him on the back foot whenever they ran at him.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool’s defence looked rocky in that first-half, and this maybe had something to do with it.
The same can be said for Ox, who we’ve said, looked out of sorts in the front three.
When he was firing on all cylinders before his cruel injury, he looked almost unstoppable.
He finally had his wish granted of playing through the middle of the pitch and he was sensational.
Before this, he was tried out wide, as he was at Arsenal, and he didn’t look entirely comfortable.
So why does Klopp play him there? It doesn’t make much sense.
But playing people out of position could prove costly going forward if this was to persist.