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Liverpool vs Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup: 5 talking points

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3.52K   //    15 Aug 2019, 21:21 IST

Virgil van Dijk holding the UEFA Super Cup for Liverpool
Virgil van Dijk holding the UEFA Super Cup for Liverpool

Liverpool won their fourth UEFA Super Cup after defeating Chelsea in a penalty shootout in Istanbul.

The match had ended 2-2 after extra time. Olivier Giroud broke the deadlock in the 36th minute after an assist from Christian Pulisic. Sadio Mané equalised just after the break with a strike into an empty net. The Senegal international doubled his tally with a powerful strike on the edge of the box in the 95th minute to put Liverpool 2-1 up. Jorginho converted a penalty towards the end of the first half of extra time after Adrian had brought down Tammy Abraham in the box to level the scoreline.

Tammy Abraham would be the only person unable to convert their penalty as Liverpool won the shootout 5-4. Without further ado, let us look at the talking points from this match.

#1. Chelsea’s new-look attack

Christian Pulisic with the ball for Chelsea
Christian Pulisic with the ball for Chelsea

For most of the match, Chelsea’s front three consisted of Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud and Pedro. All three players caused some serious problems for the Liverpool defence, especially Pulisic and Giroud, who combined brilliantly to open the scoring for Chelsea.

Pulisic started off slowly. While he made some good runs, he often ran into traffic, being shrugged off by Joel Matip a few times. However, he grew into the game, driving the ball with pace and linking up well with Emerson, Kanté, Giroud and Pedro. Pulisic was one of the quickest players on the pitch. He was unlucky not to get his first goal for Chelsea. At one point, the American winger cut inside from the left, leaving Joel Matip behind and fired a shot at the near post. It was an encouraging start from Pulisic and fans will hope to see more from him this season.

Giroud was Chelsea’s top scorer in the Europa League last season with 11 goals and was given the chance to add to his European tally today. He was an effective centre forward, winning headers and holding up play in order to bring other players into the game. The Frenchman was rewarded with his efforts when he finished clinically past Adrian with the side of his left foot.

It is fair to say that Pedro has some experience in Super Cup finals, after winning three of them for Barcelona. The Spain international was lively, running all over the place to gain possession and pick up loose balls. He dribbled past players and was a constant thorn to Liverpool’s side. He was close to scoring in the 22nd minute after hitting the crossbar with a powerful shot from his left foot.

It remains to be seen whether these three players will be Chelsea manager Frank Lampard’s attacking trio this season but there are promising signs already.

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