Chelsea fell to a highly contested penalty shootout defeat 5-4 in the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool.
The Blues led at half-time with a first half goal from Olivier Giroud but Liverpool launched out the blocks and equalised minutes after the restart through Sadio Mane.
Extra-time brought a second from Mane and an equalising penalty by Jorginho with is trademark ‘hop, skip and jump’. 120 minutes was played penalties it was.
A perfect record from the spot put the pressure on Tammy Abraham’s shoulders to keep Chelsea in contention. However, Adrian proved to be the hero of the shootout saving with his feet.
Frank Lampard insisted that he felt Chelsea were the stronger team throughout as well as showing signs of improvement in light of the defeat at Old Trafford.
The stronger team but must be more clinical
Chelsea had numerous good spells in the game and often controlling the game. Lampard claimed is side were the better team however must improve on their play in the final third.
“I respect Liverpool and they had chances in the game, but it was clear to me that we were the stronger team,” he began. “We had some bad luck at times and maybe some bad finishing which we need to be more clinical with but my overall feeling from the game is one of pride in the team performance.
“I don’t like losing, I’m a terrible loser and we all are at Chelsea. We wanted to win this game, but we were unfortunate so I’m happy with the players.
“If that’s a sign of what we can do this season – and we will get better – then it’s a really good sign.”
Abraham's penalty miss is a learning curve
Abraham impressed on his first start for the Blues against Manchester United despite falling to defeat. The number nine was brought on in the 74th minute for Giroud and made inroads on the Liverpool defence.
The 21-year-old striker looked to repay Lampard’s faith and a won a penalty in the 101st minute which was calmly rolled past Adrian by Jorginho.
Unfortunately for the youngster his penalty was saved by Liverpool’s goalkeeper, but his manager has reassured him pleased with the confidence he showed.
“I told him not to worry,” said Lampard. “The fact that he’s confident and wants to step up to take the fifth penalty is pleasing to me.
“I’ve been there myself, anyone can miss a penalty, but what I want is the confidence of a young player to turn up and do that.
“It’s part and parcel of being a player at the top level, which is what Tammy now is. These moments come and we have to be supportive of him because that’s football.”
Two long trips in three days
Lampard insisted he is not one to make excuses however stated the physical demands and minimal recovery did affect the preparation handing Liverpool an advantage.
The Blues fought on and the 41-year-old was impressed with his side’s performance.
He said: “For us to play away in Manchester on Sunday evening and for Liverpool to play at home on Friday evening, with two days more recovery this early in the season, it clearly affects your preparation and was an advantage to them,” he explained.
“You wouldn’t have known it with the way we played because we kept going for 120 minutes but it’s unfortunate for a game of this level and importance that there’s two days extra recovery and preparation for one team over another.
“I don’t want to sound like I’m moaning - we didn’t lose the game because of that but it was a bit frustrating.”