ISTANBUL: Stand-in Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian described his first weeks at Liverpool as “great” in the wake of his shootout save which delivered the UEFA Super Cup after a penalties victory over Chelsea in Istanbul.
Having ended his stay with West Ham when his contract expired at the end of last season, the 32-year-old finally found a new home last Monday as he headed to Anfield as replacement for departing back-up Simon Mignolet.
What already looked a great move swiftly became a dream switch for Adrian, who was thrust into the spotlight on Friday after Alisson Becker’s first-half calf muscle injury in the Premier League opener against Norwich.
The Spaniard thus made his first Liverpool start on Wednesday, when several fine stops threatened to be overshadowed by the fact he brought down Tammy Abraham for a penalty that Jorginho scored to leave it at 2-2 after extra-time.
But Adrian made amends in the resulting penalties as he denied substitute Abraham to secure a 5-4 shoot-out victory and more continental success for Liverpool in Istanbul.
Adrian said: “I was waiting to sign for a club for a few months after the end of the season. It was a bit hard summer because I didn’t know when I was going to a start with a team or another team, the Spanish league or not. Then Liverpool called me saying: ‘Adrian, come on, come to us because Mignolet has an offer’ and they let him go.
“At the end of the day, it was a great decision to come here, to give that title, the first one to Liverpool. Obviously everything is going so quick. I made my debut on Friday because Ali got an injury, (then) the first starting 11 today. What a win, what a win on penalties.”
Video reruns showed that the Liverpool goalkeeper had both feet off his line before saving Abraham’s spot-kick but he said: “It is really difficult to be on the line because we need a step forward to push. In the end, we need to wait until he strikes.
“I knew his strong side was my left, so I tried to go there and save with my right foot but this is great. To get a title is magnificent – and to win in this way, obviously is more than double happy.”