In what was an enthralling contest, Chelsea were edged out 5-4 on penalties by Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday night.
Chelsea lost their third successive UEFA Super Cup tie as they were narrowly beaten 5-4 on penalties by fellow Premier League outfit Liverpool, after the game had tied at 2-2 after extra time.
It was an open game from the get-go, with both teams getting a fair share of their chances. However, it was Chelsea who looked the stronger of the two in the first period and made their dominance count when Olivier Giroud finished past Adrian after being teed up by Christian Pulisic in the 36th minute.
Pulisic put the ball into the net soon after, but the goal was chalked off rightly for offside as Chelsea headed into the break with a lead. Liverpool came back with a renewed vigour after the break though and were level on terms just three minutes in, when Sadio Mane made the most of the confusion in the Chelsea box to tap home from close range.
Both teams had their fair share of chances thereafter, with Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk getting denied by Kepa Arrizabalaga while Chelsea youngster Mason Mount saw his strike chalked off for offside as the game headed into extra-time with the score at 1-1.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 14, 2019
Mane put Liverpool in the driver’s seat with a terrific strike, but Chelsea struck back through a Jorginho penalty after Adrian had fouled Tammy Abraham in the box, forcing the game into penalties. None of the first nine penalty-takers made a mistake, but Abraham’s effort from the spot was denied by Adrian, handing Chelsea a 5-4 defeat in the shootouts.
Here’s how we rated the performances of the Chelsea superstars in Turkey.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6.5/10
Produced a fine save to stop Salah in the first half. Needed to be more decisive and strong in the lead-up to Liverpool’s equaliser early in the second half. Redeemed himself with a stunning double save to deny Salah and van Dijk late in the game. Went in the right direction for a couple of Liverpool’s penalties in the shootout, but will have been disappointed to have not stopped them.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6/10
The Chelsea captain fared better than he did against Manchester United last time out. Kept Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain quiet in the first-half, but had difficulty dealing with Mane post the break. Offered very little in the attacking sense.
Andreas Christensen: 6.5/10
Made a crucial headed clearance to deny Mane a scoring opportunity with the scoreline still at 0-0 and was alert to whatever threat came his way. Had his hands full after the break as Liverpool stepped it up a notch, but did a fairly decent job before being taken off late in the game.
Kurt Zouma: 6/10
A much improved display from his disastrous outing at Manchester United last weekend as Zouma looked a lot more solid and secure at the back. Still does not appear all too comfortable in possession, but stuck to the basics and did it well. There were a few occasions where he could have prevented crosses from coming into the box, but overall an improvement from the last game.
Emerson Palmieri: 7/10
The Italian international continued from where he had left off on Sunday as he offered plenty of support with his forward forays down the left-hand side. Defensively, had a couple of hairy moments when he was caught out by Salah, but did well for most parts. Well-struck penalty in the shootout.
N’Golo Kante: 8.5/10
Starting his first game of the season, the diminutive Frenchman showed why he is such an important cog in this Chelsea side with a sensational display. Used in a role similar to last season under Sarri, Kante bossed the first-half with his energy, making driving runs forward while helping out at the back with constant interceptions.
Ran himself into the ground, despite there being concerns over his fitness levels. Played a part in the build-up to Giroud’s opener, but the highlight of the day was the fabulous nutmeg on James Milner.
N’Golo Kanté’s #SuperCup by numbers vs. Liverpool:
120 minutes played
84% pass accuracy
4 chances created
2 aerial duels won
Doing absolutely everything despite being ‘injured’. 🙇♂️ pic.twitter.com/WzpihKklRx
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 14, 2019
Slotting in as the holding midfielder, the Italian saw plenty of the ball and used it well, finding teammates in good positions with quick and precise passing. Did seem to get caught out defensively on a couple of occasions, but held things together well for most parts of the game. Dispatched a nerveless penalty in extra-time under pressure and delivered in the shootout as well.
Mateo Kovacic: 6/10
Slotting in on the left-side of the three-man midfield, the Croat got up and down the pitch with good energy and helped string together plays. However, he seemed to be lacking that element of creativity once again and faded a little after the break. Withdrawn in extra-time.
Started off very brightly, with his movement and pace causing Liverpool plenty of problems. Almost opened the scoring, but saw his effort bounce off the crossbar. Was a lively presence throughout, as he continued with his bustling energy for the whole of 120 minutes but was lacking the end product to make the difference in the game. Great cut-back for Abraham late in extra time, but the youngster missed.
Olivier Giroud: 7/10
Handed a start ahead of Tammy Abraham, the Frenchman was involved in almost everything good Chelsea conjured up in the final third of the pitch in the first half. Linked up well with his attacking partners and handed the Blues the lead with a lovely finish. Struggled to maintain the same level after the break though and strayed offside more than he would have liked. Subbed off.
Christian Pulisic: 7.5/10
Making his full debut for Chelsea, the USMNT international was full of life in the first period, with his pace and dribbling causing problems to the Liverpool backline. Set Giroud up for the opening goal with a fine defence-splitting pass after drifting in from the left flank. Had the ball in the net soon after, but was ruled out for offside. Nevertheless, a bright start to his Chelsea career.
Tammy Abraham: 5/10
Replaced Giroud in the 74th minute. Won the penalty that allowed Jorginho to make it 2-2 in extra-time, but missed a golden opportunity soon after to hand Chelsea the win. Cost his side the game as he failed to convert his spot-kick in the shootout.
Mason Mount: 7/10
Came on in place of Pulisic. Lively and confident as he ran at the opposition with the ball. Had a goal chalked off for offside and drew a fine save from Adrian in extra-time. Brilliant penalty during the shootout.
Fikayo Tomori: 6/10
On for Christensen with five minutes of regular playing time left. Solid enough, but could have done better to try and prevent Liverpool’s second.
Ross Barkley: 6/10
Extra-time substitute for Mateo Kovacic. Did little to impact the game, but took his penalty well.