Jurgen Klopp showered backup goalkeeper Adrian with praise after the recently joined Spaniard was the hero for Liverpool in their UEFA Super Cup penalty shootout victory over Chelsea on Wednesday.
A thrilling game in Istanbul pitted the Champions League winners against the Europa League champions, and with an enthralling 2-2 draw unable to be settled in extra time, penalties awaited both sides in the searing Turkish heat.
Nine perfect penalties were taken until Adrian, only starting the match in place of the injured Alisson Becker, saved Tammy Abraham's crucial penalty to hand his new club their first piece of silverware this season. Following the 32-year-old's heroics, Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on his new 'keeper, with an ode to Rocky Balboa naturally the best course of action.
“What a story, ADRIAN! Like Rocky after he lost against Apollo Creed I think,” Klopp said on BT Sport, via the Mirror.
“He kept his nerves. He is really loud in the dressing room already. It’s so good for him. I don’t think he’s won a lot in his life, so I’m really happy for him.
After leaving West Ham following the the end of his contract this summer, Adrian was brought in by Klopp to fill the void left by previous backup stopper Simon Mignolet. However, having been at the club for just over a week, the Reds' boss insisted his impact has been immediate.
“He is a great character, not just on the pitch, but off it.
Source : 90min