Adrian and Mane the heroes as Liverpool win on penalties in Istanbul again
Liverpool fought back from their disappointment of losing the penalty shootout in the Community Shield against Man City 10 days back to hold their nerve and beat Chelsea in a thrilling game. Jurgen Klopp's men won 5-4 on spot-kicks after Tammy Abraham saw his penalty saved by Adrian who was slightly off his line. 14 years ago it was at Galatasaray, on Wednesday night it was at Besiktas. In any case, Liverpool love penalty shootouts in Istanbul.
Liverpool started the game well and had chances through Mane and Fabinho in the opening ten minutes before Chelsea hit back through Pedro who fired wide of the goal after being picked out by Giroud. The game then became much more even and Salah was denied by a fantastic Kepa save before Giroud hit wide after Jorginho cleared from his own area to find Pedro who had a top chance in the 23rd minute.
He played a one-two on the edge of the box before striking the crossbar. However, Liverpool were not being overrun. Van Dijk headed over from a corner just before the half-hour before Chelsea hit back through Kovacic, but he was denied by Adrian in the Liverpool goal. An end to end first half finally saw a goal after 36 minutes when Olivier Giroud gave Chelsea the lead.
Kante from midfield passed to Pulisic who made a great run before passing to Giroud to his left to beat Adrian to his bottom left hand corner. Chelsea then dominated the rest of the first period and Pulisic actually had the ball in the net four minutes later, but he had timed his run a fraction too early.
Roberto Firmino was brought on for the start of the second half for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and he made an almost instant impact. Fabinho scooped up from just outside the box for the Brazilian and as he had Kepa right on top of him, he squared to Mane who tapped home after his first shot was saved by the keeper's leg. Liverpool had a good spell after hat and Fabinho and Henderson both had opportunities. There was then a bit of lull before Chelsea miraculously survived 15 minutes from time.
A Liverpool corner ran through to Wijnaldum who passed to Salah and Kepa first saved Salah's effort before getting up quickly to tip Van Dijk's rebound onto the post. That seemed to wake Chelsea up and in fact actually finished the 90 minutes stronger. Kante played in Pedro, but his shot was blocked by Van Dijk before Mason Mount scored for Chelsea. However, he was offside and Kurt Zouma headed over a Mason Mount corner. The 90 minutes were up and it was all square.
The game went to extra-time and Sadio Mane gave Liverpool the lead after just five minutes. Mane passed to Firmino who cut back from the byline for the Senegalese to smack in off the crossbar. Tammy Abraham forced Adrian into a save, but it looked like Liverpool were going to win. However, in the 100th minute, Chelsea were awarded a very controversial penalty.
Tammy Abraham went down under Adrian's challenge although contact was minimal. the penalty was given. VAR confirmed it and Jorginho made no mistake from the spot. Chelsea were the more positive ones for the rest of extra-time and Abraham turned Pedro's effort wide just four minutes later. In the last eight minutes of extra time, Mount forced Adrian into two brilliant saves separated by Pedro hitting narrowly wide of the keeper's left hand post. Fabinho went down with cramp and the ref brought the extra 30 minutes to a close.
In penalties, Liverpool went first and Firmino, Fabinho, Origi, Alexander-Arnold and Salah all converted. That said, Kepa was close to saving Origi and Alexander-Arnold's. Jorginho, Barkley, Mason Mount and Emerson all scored for Chelsea before a nervous looking Tammy Abraham saw a terrible penalty saved. He hit it down and Adrian saved it with his legs. In fact, the goalie was slightly off his line and it should have been retaken. It brought an end to what was a thrilling game.
Liverpool won a game which neither side deserved to lose and now turn their attention to Saturday's game at Southampton while Chelsea responded brilliantly to their 4-0 loss at Old Trafford. They host Leicester on Sunday and showed they can play very well on their day.