The Reds had to dig deep in Istanbul against a formidable opponent, ultimately triumphing in penalties
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was happy to see his team come out on top in Wednesday’s big clash against Chelsea, a match that he likened to a ‘boxing fight’.
The Reds defeated Chelsea on penalty kicks in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul, with stand-in goalkeeper Adrian the hero after a 2-2 match through 120 minutes.
Chelsea took a first-half lead through Olivier Giroud before Sadio Mane restored parity right after the half-time break.
Mane would score again in extra-time to give his side what looked like the winner, before Jorginho levelled the game again from the spot.
That set up a penalty shoot-out where the first nine takers converted their kicks, before Adrian saved Tammy Abraham’s effort to secure the trophy for Liverpool.
Although Klopp admitted that playing an extra 30 minutes wasn’t ideal at this early stage of the season, he was happy to see his side pull through in a closely fought encounter.
“Not only we showed character, Chelsea showed character as well,” Klopp told BT Sport . “It was like a boxing fight. Proper knocks from both sides.
“Nobody in the stadium wanted another two 15 minutes but that’s how it is. It was a really good Chelsea side.
“We started well then dropped off… we could talk about football but it’s too late now. We had to fight and the boys did tonight.”
Klopp’s side have had to adjust quickly after a short off-season, with the Reds’ campaign having started early with a penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester City in the Community Shield on August 4.
That was followed by a Premier League-opening win over Norwich on Friday, and Liverpool will now have to turn around quickly and play another league game against Southampton on Saturday.
“It’s really early in the season but it’s already our third competitive game without a pre-season,” Klopp said.
“It was a very difficult game for both teams. It was all about winning it and we did that in the end.”
Chelsea will have one more day of rest than their opponents on Wednesday, with Frank Lampard’s side set to face Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
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