UEFA Super Cup: Liverpool vs Chelsea – 5 things to look forward to
The wheels of the Premier League bus are back on the road but this mid-week, we shift our focus to the UEFA Super Cup. Organized annually by the UEFA, the Super Cup will reunite the reigning champions of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. This year, the Champions League was an all-English fixture and so was the Europa League.
And this is why the competition will have two English teams again with Champions League winner Liverpool facing Europa League champions Chelsea. Below, we take a look at the five pre-match talking points ahead of the clash of the European champions.
#1 Super Cup history
Last year Atletico Madrid walked away with the Super Cup after defeating Real Madrid. This year it's between Liverpool and Chelsea. That said, neither Liverpool nor Chelsea are novices of the Super Cup. This year will be Liverpool’s 6th appearance in the Super Cup as compared to Chelsea’s 4th participation. The Reds have a record of 3 wins and 2 losses so far in the competition. They won in 1977, 2001 and 2005 while missing out in 1978 and 1984.
As far as Chelsea are concerned, they have a record of a win and 2 losses. 1998 was the only time they got their hands on the Super Cup while the current manager Frank Lampard captained his side to a loss in 2012 and was part of the team that lost on penalties against Bayern Munich in 2013.
Chelsea will be chasing their 2nd Super Cup victory while a win will enable Liverpool to level with Real Madrid on four UEFA Super Cups.
#2 European glory
Champions League winners, Liverpool haven’t had an easy road to victory. Being in a tough group with Paris Saint-Germain, it required an Alisson Becker super save against Napoli to get them through the group stages. If Liverpool were absolutely dominating with a 3-1 victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, then it required a vibrant Anfield support to get them a qualification for the final over Barcelona after a 3-0 away defeat. It was a 2-0 victory that sealed them the Champions League trophy against Tottenham.
For the Europa League, Chelsea had an easier group stage passage with 5 wins and a draw. Wins over Malmo, Dynamo Kyiv and Slavia Prague sent Chelsea to the semi-finals where it took a 4-3 penalty shootout victory for Chelsea to reach the final after a two-legged draw against Eintracht Frankfurt. It was, however, a comfortable 4-1 win over London neighbours, Arsenal, in the final.
With both English teams grabbing the two most glorious European trophies, the Super Cup will be a good judge as to who will be the ultimate European champions.
#3 A new face for Chelsea
With a transfer ban that restricted them to dive head first in the transfer window, especially after losing Eden Hazard, Chelsea haven’t found themselves in an ideal situation. Maurizio Sarri choosing to leave for Juventus had Chelsea reaching out to their own homeboy, Frank Lampard to manage the team.
Frank’s first takeover didn’t go exactly how he would have liked it to be. Chelsea had a sloppy start to the 2019/2020 Premier League season with a heavy 0-4 defeat to one of their rivals, Manchester United.
The Super Cup could be redemption time for Chelsea. Winning this cup could help get them back on track and instill some confidence in the new manager as well as the team.
#4 Advantage Liverpool
Liverpool started their Premier League campaign on a good note. A 4-1 win over Norwich at Anfield was a good debut for the Reds. With Sadio Mane on the bench, the Reds pulled off a comfortable 4-0 lead during the first half with Egyptian star Mohamed Salah, Divock Origi and Virgil van Dijk getting on the score-sheet.
The only bump in the road had been goalkeeper Alisson’s injury and them conceding a goal in the second half. With Alisson set to be out for a couple of weeks, Adrian will have to fill in the big shoes for Liverpool but with most of the team fit to face Chelsea, it might not be that big of a concern for the Reds.
On the other hand, Chelsea haven't had the best start with a defeat to United. With the form in which Champions League winners Liverpool are, they seem to be in the drivers seat to be the ultimate champions of Europe.
#5 The Miracle of Istanbul
This year, Liverpool and Chelsea will play against each other at Vodafone Park in Istanbul, Turkey. It will be the first UEFA Super Cup held in Turkey but the third time a UEFA final is held in the country.
Istanbul is not unknown to Liverpool. The 2005 UEFA Champions League final was held at the Olympic Stadium in Istanbul. And, oh what a night it was! With Milan leading 3-0 before half-time, it took an incredible effort from Steven Gerrard and his team to level the scores at 3-3. Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek became the hero of the night when he saved Andriy Shevchenko's penalty. And that’s how Liverpool won their fifth European Cup.
Liverpool's comeback was one to inspire the boys in their own comeback after a 3-0 goal deficit in the first leg against Barcelona in the Champions League in 2019. There might not be a single player of that team now but the Reds will surely draw their inspiration from that 2005 team.
The Miracle of Istanbul is one that the Liverpool team and their fans hold close to their hearts and there would be no other thing they would want than to come out victorious in Istanbul once again with the Super Cup in their hands.