Football: Jurgen Klopp praises Liverpool hero Adrian after Super Cup penalty heroics

Jurgen Klopp admitted being pleasantly surprised by Adrian's performance after the European Super Cup win.
Jurgen Klopp admitted being pleasantly surprised by Adrian's performance after the European Super Cup win.PHOTO: AFP

(Guardian) - Jurgen Klopp praised the contribution of Adrian, Liverpool's new goalkeeper, after watching his team beat Chelsea in a penalty shootout to win the European Super Cup.

The Spaniard, deputising for the injured Alisson, was signed only last week and made the decisive save to stop Tammy Abraham's kick from 12 yards, helping Liverpool win 5-4 on penalties.

The final had finished 2-2 after extra time and Klopp admitted being pleasantly surprised by Adrian's performance.

"When I first spoke to him (about signing) it was clear we needed to get him fit but then we had to put him straight in," he said. "He put in an incredible performance. Both goalkeepers did but for Adrian it was more surprising as there was no real preparation. I don't even know when he last played for West Ham, to be honest. It's so nice for him.

"I don't think he won a lot in his life so to win this big one is so nice for him. Plus he showed that he is a proper personality in the dressing room. He was even louder than I was at half-time."

Jordan Henderson, the Liverpool captain, added: "I'm delighted for Adrian who's just come into the club and he's the hero."

Olivier Giroud had opened the scoring for Chelsea but Sadio Mane's two goals gave Liverpool a 2-1 lead before Jorginho levelled the game again with a penalty.

 
 

"I'm the worst loser in the world and I hate it," Frank Lampard, the Chelsea manager, said. "I've got nothing but pride in the team and the performance. It was a tough game against a good Liverpool team that had extra time to recover after the weekend. But sometimes football comes down to little moments of luck. Tammy needs to keep his head up because that's part and parcel of being a top player.

"People keep talking about the young players at Chelsea. But let's talk about Jorginho and (N'Golo) Kante, and I could name a few others. We've got a quality bunch in there, a really good group, and we're working hard. I'm trying to instil the way I want to play and there were so many good things tonight."

The trophy was not lifted until past 1am local time and Klopp was clearly anxious about what it meant for Liverpool before Saturday's game at Southampton.

"It was a big fight," he said. "I didn't know before the game how good it would feel to win it - and it's brilliant. Now we must find a way to be ready for Saturday. Nobody wanted extra-time."