Liverpool won the UEFA Super Cup for a fourth time following a penalty shoot-out defeat of Premier League rivals Chelsea 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.
A player more accustomed to this stage, and a scorer of two previous Super Cup goals for Barcelona, Pedro Rodríguez nearly had a third on his list midway through the first half, his powerful shot from a narrow angle crashing against the crossbar.
Frank Lampard’s side did go in front from a similar, if less acute, position on 36 minutes, Olivier Giroud meeting Christian Pulišić’s through ball with a first-time finish into the bottom corner. The France striker had also opened the scoring in Chelsea’s UEFA Europa League final victory over Arsenal in May.
Sadio Mané, on target in last year’s UEFA Champions League final loss to Real Madrid, added a Super Cup goal to his CV three minutes after the break, poking over the line after half-time substitute Roberto Firmino had reacted quickest to Fabinho’s pass.
If Kepa Arrizabalaga’s stunning double save from Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk then helped take the game to extra time, it was not long into the additional 30 minutes – and just seconds into Thursday local time in Istanbul – that Mané and Firmino combined again to lethal effect. This time it was a Firmino cutback and a thumping first-time Mané finish into the roof of the net.
Less emphatic, but no less effective, was Jorginho’s spot kick six minutes later. That penalty was awarded after Adrián was adjudged to have felled Tammy Abraham, who was later denied by the Liverpool keeper in the shoot-out to hand the trophy to Jürgen Klopp’s charges.
Man of the Match: Sadio Mané (Liverpool)
Two goals for Liverpool’s jet-heeled forward, who already looks to have carried his fine form of last season into this campaign. If the first was evidence of his predatory prowess, the second showed he also has a stunner in his armoury.
View from the stadium
Joseph Walker, Liverpool reporter
Can you believe it? Adrián goes from villain to hero as he saves the fifth spot kick and Liverpool take the Super Cup! They were arguably second best throughout, but they will not care one jot. Klopp spoke about the need to be “greedy” and this will no doubt spur them on as they embark on their UEFA Champions League defence.
Daniel Thacker, Chelsea reporter
This was exactly what Lampard would have demanded from Chelsea: a response to the weekend defeat by Manchester United. Yes, the Blues slipped to a shoot-out loss, but the London club gave as good as they got for long periods. The difference made by N’Golo Kanté and Pulišić was marked and there is plenty to build on for the UEFA Europa League winners, even if the UEFA Super Cup eluded Lampard for a third time.
0: There has still never been a Super Cup that finished goalless after 120 minutes.
1: Mané is the first player from Senegal to score in a Super Cup match.
2: This is just the second Super Cup to go to penalties – the other, in 2013, also involved Chelsea, again after a 2-2 draw. They lost 5-4 to Bayern in the shoot-out.
3: This was Lampard’s third Super Cup. The previous two came as a player with Chelsea; he was captain for the defeats in 2012 and 2013.
4: Liverpool have won the Super Cup on four occasions, taking them level with Real Madrid in third on the all-time honours board. Only AC Milan and Barcelona have won more, with five.
7: Mané is the seventh player to score twice in a Super Cup. The others are: Mário Jardel (2000), Djibril Cissé (2005), Radamel Falcao (2012 – hat-trick), Cristiano Ronaldo (2014), Lionel Messi (2015) and Diego Costa (2018).
8: This is the eighth one-off Super Cup match to have gone to extra time – all eight have seen goals in extra time.
12: Giroud has 12 goals in his last 13 UEFA club competition appearances.