Welcome to Liverpool! - Adrian revels in penalty heroics

By Sports Desk August 14, 2019

Adrian was thrilled to help Liverpool win the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea on his first start for the club.

Deputising for the injured Alisson, Adrian denied Tammy Abraham to seal a 5-4 penalty shoot-out success for the European champions over Chelsea in Istanbul on Wednesday.

With Alisson expected to miss several weeks due to a calf injury sustained against Norwich City in last week's Premier League opener, Adrian will have more chances to impress.

And the former West Ham goalkeeper was delighted to have made an impact on his full Reds debut as Jurgen Klopp's side made up for losing the Community Shield to Manchester City on penalties.

"Welcome to Liverpool! It has been a crazy week," Adrian said to BT Sport. "I am happy for the team, with them it is easy.

"I am happy to win the trophy. I am really happy for the fans. It was a long game but in the end it was a great finish."

Adrian was able to make amends for conceding a penalty in extra time, Jorginho converting to make it 2-2 after the goalkeeper felled Abraham.

Replays appeared to indicate contact with the striker was minimal and Adrian disagreed with the decision made by Stephanie Frappart, who became the first female official to take charge of a major men's final.

"I tried to stop when I saw him. The striker is intelligent," Adrian added. 

"I touched him but he was looking for it. I told the referee I tried to stop but it doesn't matter.

"We got the title and have to enjoy tonight."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson accepted the Reds were not at their best against the Europa League winners but cited difficult conditions for their unimposing performance.

"It was tough. It is humid here - you can't tell on the TV," Henderson told BT Sport. "It was tough with extra time - a lot of the lads were struggling. We were trying to keep the ball and get a breather but it was a bit sloppy.

"Chelsea are a good side and this is not a great way for them to lose, like we did in the Community Shield. I'm delighted for Adrian, who is the hero tonight.

"We've got a big game on Saturday [against Southampton] so I'm delighted. We want to win as many trophies as possible. We'll take the trophy back and enjoy it, but we've got to focus on recovery for a big game on Saturday.

"We didn't play particularly well but we kept grinding in tough conditions, kept going. It's another trophy for us and it's important to keep winning. Hopefully we can continue this run of form now."

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    Neymar's prolonged absence from the PSG squad continued on Sunday as the Ligue 1 champions fell to a 2-1 loss at Rennes in their first away outing of the new campaign.

    The 27-year-old Neymar has been recovering from an ankle injury that has ruled him out of action since early June, while questions remain over his future amid strong links with Real Madrid and former club Barcelona.

    After seeing his side struggle for creativity at Roazhon Park, however, head coach Tuchel stood firm on his stance that PSG must keep hold of the player.

    "He will not leave without recruitment, it is not possible," Tuchel said at his post-match news conference. "It's clear - if he stays, we will have a player who will help us win. 

    "We lacked capacity for acceleration. There were small situations where space opened but we were not decisive."

    Tuchel told Canal +: "I always say the same thing, the transfer window is open even more than 10 days and you think it will be settled tomorrow or the day after tomorrow?

    "What I think is not important. Today my player cannot play because he has not done any training like the others. This is the situation, and nothing has changed."

    Edinson Cavani was gifted a 36th-minute goal by Rennes following an error from Damien Da Silva, but PSG managed just one further shot on target and were made to pay by the side that also beat them in April's Coupe de France final.

    Goals either side of half-time from M'Baye Niang and Romain Del Castillo handed Rennes all three points, but Tuchel downplayed the magnitude of the defeat so early in the season.

    "It was a difficult match, but we expected it," he said. "We do not have everyone available. Some players only participated in two weeks of training. 

    "These situations are normal in August. We are not at our best. Against a physical team like Rennes, who gives everything, whose players run like crazy, in a match in prime time, it's normal that it was complicated for us. 

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    Rennes knew they had a talent on their hands and, nine months after he penned his first professional contract, they offered Camavinga a new deal running through a further year until 2022.

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    Having been on the losing side in the Trophee des Champions clash on August 3, Camavinga had a lot more joy when the sides locked horns in Ligue 1 on Sunday by setting up Del Castillo's winner early in the second half.

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    What next?

    The display against PSG will attract all the plaudits given the calibre of opposition and magnitude of the result, although Stephan will no doubt be just as pleased with Camavinga's performance against Montpellier the week before.

    Leading 1-0 when Flavien Tait was dismissed, Rennes did not lose control of the match thanks largely to their prodigious young talent.

    No Rennes player managed more touches of the ball or won more duels than Camavinga, who also ended the game with the second-highest pass count of any Rennes player – completing 97.6 per cent of those.

    It is surely now just a matter of time before Europe's heavyweight clubs, PSG included, begin to circle for a player who does not turn 17 for another three months.

    At his current rate of progression, and with new records being set seemingly on a weekly basis, Camavinga appears to be heading to the top.

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