Backup goalkeeper Adrian was Liverpool’s penalty shootout hero as they beat Chelsea on penalties to win the Super Cup and kick off a new European season.
After Champions League holders Liverpool and Europa League winners Chelsea finished extra time at 2-2, Adrian made the crucial save with his leg to deny Tammy Abraham and give his team a 5-4 win on penalties.
It was new signing Adrian’s first start for Liverpool after regular goalkeeper Alisson suffered a calf injury last Friday.
Chelsea took the lead in the 36th minute when Christian Pulisic exposed poor positioning by Liverpool right back Joe Gomez to pass for Olivier Giroud to shoot low past Adrian.
Liverpool stormed back after the break, Fabinho’s 48th-minute pass opening up the Chelsea defence and leaving Sadio Mane with an easy finish off Mohamed Salah’s flick.
In extra time, Mane put Liverpool ahead off a Roberto Firmino cross, but Chelsea quickly responded with a penalty from Jorginho.
Stephanie Frappart became the first female referee to oversee a major men’s European final.
After just six minutes, she denied Liverpool a penalty when Sadio Mane’s overhead kick hit Andreas Christensen’s arm, which seemed to be out of a strictly “natural” position. There was no full review by the video assistant referee system.
Twice Chelsea put the ball into the net through Pulisic and substitute Mason Mount, but Frappart and her assistants ruled both efforts out for clear offsides.
Skipper Jordan Henderson admitted Liverpool had been made to work hard by Chelsea.
“It was tough. It’s quite humid here,” he told BT Sport. “Extra time as well, you could see a lot of the lads were struggling.
“Chelsea are a good side. It’s not a great way to lose it on penalties.”
Henderson praised goalkeeper Adrian, who won a trophy on his first start for the club.
“I’m delighted for Adrian who’s just come into the club and he’s the hero. We’re delighted to win because we want to win as many trophies as we can.”