Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp compares Adrian to Rocky Balboa

Written by on 15/08/2019

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp compared Adrian to Rocky Balboa after the stand-in stopper made a match-winning penalty save against Chelsea to win the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul.

Olivier Giroud put Chelsea ahead in the first half, only for Sadio Mane to level as the match went to extra-time. Mane scored again before Adrian brought Tammy Abraham down in the box, allowing Jorginho to make it 2-2.

But with the scores level after extra-time, Adrian made amends for conceding the earlier penalty, blocking Tammy Abraham’s effort to win the shoot-out 5-4.

“What a story – Adrian! Like Rocky!” Klopp told BT Sport, referencing the film when the underdog fighter cries out to his girlfriend Adrian after going 15 rounds with heavyweight champion Apollo Creed.

The former West Ham ‘keeper has been thrust into Liverpool’s starting XI after first-choice Alisson suffered a calf strain during the season-opening 4-1 win over Norwich.

“I don’t know where he was two weeks ago when we were playing Manchester City,” Klopp added in the post-match press conference.

“When I spoke to him the first time, it was clear he would take time to get fit. But he has to be fit now and he is.

“He has already shown me he is a proper personality in the dressing room as well – he was maybe even louder than I was at half-time.”

Adrian’s ‘great decision’

Adrian went from free agent to Liverpool hero in just over a week and admitted signing for the Reds after leaving West Ham had proved a “great decision”.

“I was waiting to sign for a club, like a few months after the end of the season,” he said. “So, I didn’t know in that moment that Liverpool would come to me and call me saying ‘Adrian, come on, come to us because [Simon] Mignolet has an offer’ and they let him go.

“And obviously it was a bit [of a] hard summer for me, a different one, because I didn’t know when I was going to a start with a team or another team, the Spanish league or not.

“But, at the end of the day, it was a great decision to come here, to give that title, the first one to Liverpool. Obviously, everything is going so quick. I made my debut on Friday because Ali {Alisson) got an injury, [then] the first starting 11 today. What a win, what a win on penalties.”

Klopp on winning the Super Cup

Speaking on Liverpool’s website, Klopp revealed his satisfaction at winning the trophy: “I asked Millie [James Milner] and Hendo after the game how people see it [the Super Cup trophy].

“I’m not long enough in the country and was never in that game before. They said, ‘Oh no, it’s a proper trophy’. It’s on a wall at Melwood, so good.

“They have to draw it again, to paint the wall at Melwood again, bring another number on the wall ‘2019’. It’s big.”

Klopp’s praise for officials

Klopp was hugely impressed by the performance of referee Stephanie Frappart, who became the first female official to take charge of a major UEFA men’s competition event.

“I spoke to the ref team after the game that if we had played like they whistled, then we would have won 6-0,” he said.

“They played a brilliant game. I also said I wasn’t happy with the penalty decision as I’m still not sure but it’s not important any more.

“There was pressure on them. It was an historic moment and they stayed themselves, stayed calm and did what they had to do in a very difficult and intense game. I couldn’t have more respect. It was a really brilliant performance.”

Lampard’s reaction

Blues boss Frank Lampard was encouraged by his side’s display in Instanbul, suggesting “Chelsea’s season will be a good one if we play something like we played today.

“I’ve got nothing but pride in the team and the performance, and confidence in what that means. It was a tough game against a good Liverpool team that [played on Friday and] had extra time to recover after the weekend,” he added.

“Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham added an extra dimension when they came on, and were unlucky not to score.”

Lampard also backed his young striker to bounce back from the penalty miss: “Tammy needs to keep his head up because that’s part and parcel of being a top player.

“People keep talking about the young players at Chelsea. Let’s talk about Jorginho and (N’Golo) Kante, and I could name a few others.

“We’ve got a quality bunch in there, a really good group, and we’re working hard. I’m trying to instil the way I want to play and there were so many good things.”

(c) Sky Sports 2019: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp compares Adrian to Rocky Balboa

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