Liverpool close in on Barcelona & Milan's record after Super Cup success

By Sports Desk August 14, 2019

Liverpool are one UEFA Super Cup trophy away from equalling the hauls of Barcelona and AC Milan after overcoming Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out.

Champions League holders Liverpool claimed their fourth Super Cup thanks to Wednesday's 5-4 triumph on penalties in Istanbul.

Goalkeeper Adrian proved the hero for Liverpool, denying Chelsea's Tammy Abraham from the spot after the showdown ended 2-2 at the end of extra time.

Liverpool celebrated as they joined Real Madrid on four Super Cups, within touching distance of five-time winners Barca and Milan.

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  • Klopp assesses Liverpool start: Lots of positives, lots of room for improvement Klopp assesses Liverpool start: Lots of positives, lots of room for improvement

    Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool's start to the season as "so far, so okay", as the table-topping Reds prepare to welcome Arsenal to Anfield.

    European champions Liverpool lead the Premier League after two matches, having thrashed Norwich City 4-1 and then scraped by Southampton 2-1 last week.

    Klopp's side also lost the Community Shield on penalties to Manchester City and beat Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup final by the same method.

    At this early stage of the season, the Reds boss has seen plenty of positives but knows there are areas in need of improvement, with Arsenal - also on two wins from two - up next.

    "Parts of [the start to the season] I am really happy with," he told a news conference. "It's exactly the same as the beginning of last season, when we had sensational results but people asked me about the performances.

    "To make the next step, first you have to reach the level of last year, the last level you had. That's what we are trying to do, but that doesn't mean after the summer break it is immediately like this.

    "We know we can improve, but it's not about being perfect at the start of the season, it's about being ready, and we were. Now we work on being perfect. We may never reach it, but we work.

    "Against City, second half was really good. Against Norwich, 60 minutes was really good then we obviously didn't know any more how to control a game. That was not perfect, true.

    "Then we played Chelsea, in difficult circumstances but we won the game.

    "Then last week, Southampton was one of the most challenging games I've had so far. The only game I can remember similar was when we came from Spain in the Europa League and played Swansea. I liked that game as well.

    "Southampton had chances but that's football. We don't go into a game and think it's not allowed that the opposition shoot at our goal, that's not how defending works. That's what you have a goalie for.

    "There are a lot of positive things, but a lot of space for improvement, too. It's a team sport, and you have to work. Then let's play football.

    "So far, so okay, not more. Now let's go again against Arsenal."

    The Premier League transfer window closed without Liverpool doing major business, but they could yet lose Dejan Lovren, who had been linked with Roma.

    Klopp said he "surprisingly" had no update on Lovren, adding when pushed again later on: "Nice try. No comment."

    Discussing the differing transfer windows, Klopp said: "I don't care when it closes, but it must close at the same time. That was the idea in the first place.

    "They spoke about finishing it before the season starts - good idea - but only England did it. That makes no sense."

  • Ribery could make Fiorentina debut against Napoli - Montella Ribery could make Fiorentina debut against Napoli - Montella

    Franck Ribery could make his Fiorentina debut against Napoli when the Serie A season gets up and running this weekend, says Vincenzo Montella.

    Ribery joined La Viola as a free agent on a two-year deal this week having left Bayern Munich at the end of his contract.

    The former France international suggested in his presentation he would not be ready to play this weekend, and certainly is not fit to start.

    But Montella is keen on using the 36-year-old for Saturday's season opener at Stadio Artemio Franchi.

    "I want him to be with us because he wants to be a part of the game," Montella told a news conference. "I want him to be with us and I hope for a chance for him to play.

    "He joined us because he wants to be still on the first line. He has to be competitive, I know he says he wants to, he works on it and I realised by myself in these first days of training.

    "He doesn't pull himself out during the sessions. He knows he can get results only through hard work. I am sure he will transmit this mentality to all the squad.

    "But I need to focus on the game. Dreams are great, but we need to keep our feet on the ground in this moment."

    Ribery was given a rousing reception at his official presentation on Thursday, with thousands of Fiorentina fans attending to welcome him to the club.

  • Ancelotti excited about Napoli potential following Lozano signing Ancelotti excited about Napoli potential following Lozano signing

    Carlo Ancelotti commended Napoli's efforts in the transfer market after capturing Hirving Lozano a day before the new Serie A season.

    Napoli reportedly spent €40million to sign the Mexico international from PSV.

    Lozano, 24, joins centre-back Kostas Manolas, right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo and teenage midfielder Elif Elmas among the new faces at Stadio San Paolo.

    Ancelotti guided Napoli to second last term, 11 points behind champions Juventus, and thinks his squad is better resourced this season.

    "We have become more competitive," Ancelotti said.

    "With Lozano and the other new arrivals, the level of quality in the squad has increased and we're stronger overall than last year.

    "The club has had a very good transfer window and spent big, which I'm pleased about."

    An exciting winger, Lozano shot to international prominence when he scored the winner for Mexico against Germany at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

    The former Pachuca player scored 17 league goals in each of his past two seasons in the Netherlands and struck four times in the Champions League during a productive 2018-19 campaign.

    "He's a player that we've been tracking for a while and thanks to the club's hard work, we finally now have him here with us," Ancelotti said.

    "It wasn't a simple operation.

    "Lozano brings extra technical quality to the squad. He's full of desire and is very excited and motivated to be at Napoli. Those are the characteristics that we like, besides his technical ability.

    "Hirving can play anywhere across the frontline. On the left, right or behind the striker. Maybe he can also play as a striker himself.

    "He's a complete footballer with fantastic quality."

    Napoli begin their Serie A campaign away to Fiorentina on Saturday.

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