Adrian is incredible, says Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp praises goalkeeper after his heroics in tense penalty shootout help Reds beat Chelsea 5-4 to lift fourth UEFA Super Cup
Istanbul: Jurgen Klopp hailed "incredible" UEFA Super Cup hero Adrian and then admitted he had no idea where the goalkeeper even was a fortnight ago. The Spaniard, only in the side because of an injury to No. 1 goalkeeper Allison Becker, saved Tammy Abraham's penalty to give Liverpool a 5-4 shootout win against Chelsea after the showdown between Champions League and Europa League winners had finished 2-2 in Istanbul on Wednesday.
The former Betis shot-stopper, 32, joined Liverpool on a free transfer to replace the departed Simon Mignolet on August 5, the day after Klopp's team lost on penalties to Manchester City in the Community Shield. He was thrust into the spotlight when he had to replace the injured Alisson in the first half of the EPL opening 4-1 win against Norwich on Friday.
Adrian of Liverpool celebrates Sadio Mane of Liverpool scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Super Cup match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Vodafone Park
"I don't know where Adrian was two weeks ago when we played Man City," said Klopp after seeing his team win the Super Cup for the fourth time. "When I spoke to him for the first time it was clear he would need time to get fit, but we didn't have that time so he has to be fit now, and he was fit, he played an incredible game, he made sensational saves."
Adrian made notable interventions during the game, diving at the feet of Mateo Kovacic in the first half and batting away a Mason Mount strike late in extra time. However, he also fouled Abraham to give away a penalty which Jorginho scored to make it 2-2 after Sadio Mane's 95th-minute second goal.
"In penalty shootouts you're always lucky, but his performance over 120 minutes was incredible, making the save from the penalty was the icing on the cake," said Klopp. "He helped us a lot and he can be proud of what he did tonight," added the German manager.
Lampard eyes positives
Meanwhile, coach Frank Lampard took great encouragement from Chelsea's display. "I think we can get better, there are things I still want us to improve on in terms of how we play slightly, but I am happy with the performance," said Lampard. "To lose the game was disappointing, but if it means Chelsea's season can be something like how we played today, we'll be OK," he added.
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