‘What a story, ADRIAN!’: Jurgen Klopp hails reserve goalkeeper as Liverpool’s very own Rocky Balboa after Spaniard’s penalty heroics helps the Reds to Super Cup glory
- Jurgen Klopp has likened penalty hero Adrian to Liverpool’s own Rocky Balboa
- Adrian saved Tammy Abraham’s penalty to help the Reds beat Chelsea
- The stand-in goalkeeper has been called upon after Alisson injured his calf
- He has had a crazy week that has now seen him become a hero in Istanbul
Jurgen Klopp hailed stand-in goalkeeper Adrian as Liverpool’s very own Rocky Balboa as he delivered the knock-out blow here in Istanbul.
The goalkeeper, who only joined the Merseysiders 11 days ago, saved Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham’s penalty in a tense shoot-out to emerge as the hero as Liverpool added the UEFA Super Cup to their euphoric Champions League win in Madrid in June.
Adrian arrived at Anfield as understudy to undisputed No 1 Alisson Becker, but the Brazilian’s calf tear suffered during the opening day win over Norwich has opened the door to the Spaniard.
Jurgen Klopp has likened reserve goalkeeper Adrian to Liverpool’s very own Rocky Balboa
The stand-in goalkeeper was the hero of Liverpool’s UEFA Super Cup win at Vodafone Park
After the match, Klopp channelled Sylvester Stallone by exclaiming ‘ADRIAN’ in an interview
Adrian became the hero of the night for Liverpool after the match finished 2-2 after extra time
Nine penalties had been scored before Adrian stuck out a leg to deny Tammy Abraham
The ex-West Ham man took full advantage last night to make the vital contribution against Frank Lampard’s team.
And Klopp said: ‘What a story, ADRIAN! Like Rocky after he lost against Apollo Creed I think.
‘He kept his nerves. He is really loud in the dressing room already. It’s so good for him. I don’t think he’s won a lot in his life, so I’m really happy for him.
‘It’s about winning it and we did that, so now It’s onwards. It was like a boxing fight, proper knocks from both sides. I think nobody in the stadium wanted two more 15 minutes.
‘It was really a killer, but we came through. I’m not sure about the penalty but who cares now.
Adrian has been thrust into the spotlight after signing from West Ham as a reserve this summer
Klopp has had to call upon the former Hammer to deputise for normal first choice Alisson
Adrian added: ‘Welcome to Liverpool, eh? It’s been a crazy week. I’m really happy we won the trophy and I’m really happy for the fans because they enjoyed the match.’
Earlier in extra time, Adrian conceded a contentious late penalty after appearing to career into Abraham to provide Jorginho with an opportunity to force the shoot-out.
And the keeper added: ‘I tried to stop when I saw him, but the strikers are so intelligent. I think he touched me, I don’t know. I told the referee but it doesn’t matter now.’
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson admitted the sweltering conditions played a significant part in the game, adding: ‘It was tough. It’s quite humid here, it was tough, extra-time as well. The lads were struggling. I’m delighted for Adrian who has just come to the club and he’s the hero tonight.
‘We are delighted to win because we want to win as many trophies as we can. We have got to enjoy it now but focus on a big game on Saturday.’
Brazilian Alisson injured his calf against Norwich but Adrian has more than shown his worth
Lampard, whose side were the better team for large chunks of the game, hailed his team – but admitted he wasn’t happy with the fact Liverpool were afforded two days extra preparation time for the clash here in Turkey.
Liverpool played at home against Norwich on Friday night whereas Chelsea travelled to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon
And Lampard added: ‘I don’t want to look like I’m moaning but it clearly affects preparation, it’s unfortunate they have two day extra recovery.
‘I respect Liverpool, but I felt we were the stronger team. I’m a terrible lose but the feeling for me is one of pride.
‘If we keep playing like that then we’ll be okay. I saw a lot of things I want to see.’
Andreas Christensen was forced off with a tight groin but Chelsea are hopeful the problem isn’t serious.
The Reds followed their Champions League win in Istanbul in 2005 with another shootout win