Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea (5-4 on pens): 5 men who were impressive for Frank Lampard
Chelsea travelled to Istanbul to face Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday, at the Vodaphone Arena. The game pitted the UEFA Champions League winner against the UEFA Europa League winner and for Chelsea, it was a chance to set a marker ahead at the start of a new era.
After the departure of Maurizio Sarri in the summer, the Blues had appointed club Legend Frank Lampard as the new manager. Eden Hazard, who had been on fire last season, had completed his long impending move to Real Madrid. Chelsea were also crippled with the transfer ban, which meant that they were unable to get a replacement for the Belgian magician. For Lampard though, the stakes were quite high.
The Englishman had lost his first competitive game over the weekend, a humbling 4-0 defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Manchester United in the Premier League. Lampard was missing a host of big names, especially in defence, but he knew that the game ahead represented a golden chance to win his first silverware as a manager. The Englishman named his team accordingly.
Lampard continued with Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal and Emerson, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta as the back four. The midfield consisted of Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, while in the attack, Olivier Giroud was selected to lead the line, with Christian Pulisic and Pedro either side of him.
The Blues started the game on the back foot but took the lead through Giroud in the 36th minute. However, Sadio Mane equalized for Liverpool in the 48th minute. When 90 minutes could not separate the two sides, the game when into extra time.
The Senegalese scored again in the 95th minute, giving Liverpool the lead, only for Jorginho to equalize 6 minutes later from the spot. In the end, Chelsea lost the game on penalties, as young Tammy Abraham missed the final spot-kick.
Even in defeat, the performances of these 5 men was the silver lining on the night for Frank Lampard.
#5 Kepa Arrizabalaga
The Spaniard might have let in 4 goals in the weekend against Manchester United, but Kepa Arrizabalaga was rock solid for Chelsea in between the sticks against Liverpool. He was at hand to deny the opposition on numerous occasions in the early stages, where Jurgen Klopp’s men were running the show.
Kepa’s resolve and stellar saves allowed Chelsea to remain in the game and caused Liverpool to lose a little concentration in the final third. The Spaniard was also decent with his distribution and helped his team play out from the back. Altogether, the Spaniard’s performance in the first half set the tone for the game.
In the dying moments of the game, with the scores still at 1-1, Kepa made a string of world-class saves to keep his team in the tie. While he could not stop any of the spot-kicks, the Spaniard was still very impressive on the night.