Liverpool beats Chelsea on penalties to lift Super Cup

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Liverpool's Adrian lifts the trophy as he and his teammates celebrate winning the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea at the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul, Turkey on August 14, 2019. (Reuters/John Sibley)
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Liverpool's Adrian saves the decisive penalty in the penalty shootout taken by Chelsea's Tammy Abraham.(Reuters/John Sibley)
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Chelsea's English striker Tammy Abraham (C) vies for the ball with Liverpool's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk (L) and Liverpool's Spanish goalkeeper Adrian during the UEFA Super Cup 2019 football match between FC Liverpool and FC Chelsea at Besiktas Park Stadium in Istanbul on August 14, 2019. (AFP / Bulent Kilic)
Updated 15 August 2019

Liverpool beats Chelsea on penalties to lift Super Cup

  • Backup goalkeeper Adrian saves final kick of shootout to help Liverpool win Super Cup

ISTANBUL: Adrian may never play more than a smattering of games for Liverpool, but he’ll be remembered for his “crazy week.”
The backup goalkeeper turned penalty hero with a save on the final kick of the shootout as Liverpool beat Chelsea to win the Super Cup and kick off a new European season.
After Champions League holder Liverpool and Europa League winner 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 in a game which finished after midnight Turkish time on Thursday.
Adrian was signed just nine days before as backup for Alisson, but when the Brazilian injured himself last Friday in the English Premier League opener, he was thrust into the spotlight first as a substitute, then as a Super Cup starter.
“Welcome to Liverpool,” Adrian said. “It’s been a crazy week. I’m really happy for the team, I’m happy to play for Liverpool and happy for the fans.”
The 32-year-old Spanish goalkeeper was a free agent after leaving West Ham, where he didn’t play a single Premier League game last season and last appeared in an FA Cup loss to lowly AFC Wimbledon.
Even before the shootout, Adrian kept Liverpool in the game with a 113th-minute save from Mason Mount to stop Chelsea winning in extra time. Still, he’s expected to relinquish his Liverpool starting spot to Alisson when the Brazilian returns from his calf injury in a few weeks.
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 defense 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.
Stéphanie 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 Mount, but Frappart and her assistants ruled both efforts out for clear offsides.
Just as in its 4-0 loss to Manchester United on Sunday, Chelsea played a strong first half before slumping after halftime, but this time its mistakes weren’t nearly as harshly punished.
Frank Lampard’s team tormented Gomez in the opening 45 minutes, drawing him out of position and exploiting the space created. After an early chance for Salah, it was all Chelsea as Pedro hit the bar and Giroud shot at Adrian. Soon after, Pulisic and Giroud combined for the opening goal.
Chelsea emerged after halftime looking disjointed and almost immediately conceded.
After Mane scored, Liverpool nearly followed up with a second as Fabinho fired just wide, then Jordan Henderson forced a save from Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Chelsea goalkeeper made a spectacular double save to keep Liverpool at bay in the 75th, diverting Virgil van Dijk’s shot onto the bar after substitute Abraham cleared Fabinho’s shot off the line with his first touch of the game.
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Boxing great Pacquiao wants MMA star McGregor fight next year

Updated 26 September 2020

Boxing great Pacquiao wants MMA star McGregor fight next year

  • Bout could be staged in the Middle East after the coronavirus pandemic abates

MANILA: Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao wants to fight Irish mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in the ring next year, an aide said in a statement Saturday.
“For the sake of all the Filipino COVID-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year,” Pacquiao’s special assistant Jayke Joson said, adding negotiations are ongoing.
The fight could be staged in the Middle East after the coronavirus pandemic abates, the aide said, adding Pacquiao would donate a portion of his prize earnings to Filipino COVID-19 victims.
Pacquiao’s promoter Sean Gibbons earlier said in Los Angeles that the eight-division world champion was mulling a possible comeback fight with McGregor, though the two camps were a “long way” from agreement.
Earlier Friday, McGregor, 32, said on Twitter he was “boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East.”
“It will be a true honor to have faced two of the greatest boxers of the modern era,” McGregor added.
Pacquiao, 41, has not fought since claiming the WBA welterweight crown with a stunning victory over Keith Thurman in Las Vegas in July last year.
A bout against McGregor, who faced welterweight king Floyd Mayweather in a money-spinning 2017 fight, would guarantee Pacquiao another lucrative payday as he nears the end of an illustrious boxing career.
“Our lawyers are finalizing all the confidential details, but both fighters are getting ready for this one epic last boxing fight,” Joson said.
Gibbons said McGregor had shown in his money-spinning fight with welterweight king Floyd Mayweather in 2017 that the Irishman was capable of challenging “the best boxers in the world.”
Pacquiao has successfully combined a political career in the Philippines, where he is an elected senator, while continuing to box at the highest level.
“His main focus right now is to help here and there, providing relief, shelter, money and food, among other necessities,” Joson said.
The virus has infected some 200,000 people in the Philippines and killed more than 5,000.