Liverpool seek more silverware as Lampard eyes Super Cup boost

Chelsea players during a training session at the Vodafone Park Stadium in Istanbul on Tuesday. (AP)
Updated 13 August 2019

Liverpool seek more silverware as Lampard eyes Super Cup boost

  • Reds hope the match can be prelude to their side finally going all the way in the Premier League

ISTANBUL: Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to make winning trophies a habit as they head back to Istanbul —  the scene of one of the club’s greatest triumphs — to take on Premier League rivals Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday.

The Anfield club memorably defeated AC Milan on penalties to win the Champions League by the Bosphorus back in 2005, and now they face Chelsea in the Turkish city after becoming European champions for the sixth time in June.

The traditional curtain-raiser to the European season may not be taken entirely seriously by everyone, but neither club will turn their noses up at the chance of lifting more silverware, with Liverpool having just ended a seven-year trophy drought and Frank Lampard eager to kick-start his Chelsea managerial career.

The clubs have already won the competition four times between them, but nine of the last 10 winners of the Super Cup have come from Spain.

Among the other protagonists on Wednesday will be Stephanie Frappart, with the French official becoming the first woman to referee a major men’s match in European competition.

Frappart will nevertheless be happy to stay out of the limelight once the match at the Vodafone Park, home of Besiktas, kicks off, with Liverpool favorites against a Chelsea side reeling from their 4-0 defeat at Manchester United in their Premier League opener.

After losing on penalties to Manchester City in the Community Shield, Liverpool began their league campaign with a comfortable 4-1 win over Norwich City with Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Divock Origi all scoring.

However, that result was somewhat overshadowed by the loss of Alisson Becker, with Klopp confirming the formidable Brazil goalkeeper will be out for a while with a calf injury.

“I don’t want to make now (an) exact prognosis on when he will be back but it will not be Wednesday for sure, so now then we have to see. It takes a while, it takes a couple weeks for sure, and we have to see,” he told the club’s website.

Spaniard Adrian will deputize in Alisson’s absence, and Klopp is hopeful his team can build on their win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final in Madrid.

“Stay greedy. That’s very important — I have no doubt about that, but it’s clear that we have to do that,” Klopp told UEFA.com when asked how his side could build on that success.

Reds fans will also be tempted by the possibility of a third successive Champions League final appearance, back in Istanbul at the end of the campaign.

Equally, they will hope the Super Cup can be the prelude to their side finally going all the way in the Premier League.

“We don’t want to just stop at the Champions League, that’s all we’ve won as a group of players,” Andy Robertson told the club’s website.

“We want more but we know how hard that’s going to be. This is our next opportunity to do so and it’d be great if we can take it.”

Chelsea secured their place in this fixture thanks to their comprehensive victory over Arsenal in the Europa League final, but much has changed since then.

Coach Maurizio Sarri and star player Eden Hazard have left, and club legend Lampard is now in charge, handed the reins at Stamford Bridge despite just one season’s managerial experience in the second tier with Derby County.

The prospect of winning a trophy in just his second competitive match with the London club will be an enticing one, although they could be forgiven for coming into this match with a sense of trepidation after their hammering at Old Trafford.

It will be interesting to see if Lampard keeps faith with the likes of youngsters Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham here.

“We know that we can improve. We have to face it, take the responsibility and move forward. We have a trophy to fight for on Wednesday against a good team and we have to be ready for it,” Cesar Azpilicueta said after Sunday’s defeat.


South Korea football team departs for World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang

Updated 14 October 2019

South Korea football team departs for World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang

BEIJING: South Korean footballers departed for Pyongyang on Monday to play a World Cup qualifier against North Korea amid deadlocked talks over the North’s nuclear arsenal.
The teams — with Tottenham’s star forward Son Heung-min included in the South Korean squad — are expected to face each other at the Kim Il Sung Stadium on Tuesday.
This will be the first competitive men’s game between the two sides to be held in Pyongyang, and has raised hopes for new momentum in ties between the two Koreas.
But Pyongyang refused to hold direct talks with Seoul on the logistics for the match, denying South Korean fans and journalists permission to travel with the team.
South Korean players said the absence of cheering fans will be a first.
“It’s much better to play in a packed stadium rather than an empty one, but I think we’ll be able to play a good match if we use it as motivation,” said defender Kim Min-jae before boarding a flight to Pyongyang at Beijing airport.
The South Korean footballers were accompanied by a delegation of 55 people, limited to players, coaches and staff.
Broadcasters in the South said that plans to air the match live had fallen apart, with some media reporting that there may be attempts to carry the North Korean feed.
The match comes in the wake of a series of North Korean missile tests that raised tensions in the region, and after the breakdown of talks with the United States over Pyongyang’s weapons programs.