Adrian has gone from free agent to Liverpool hero in just over a week after his controversial match-winning penalty saves in the Super Cup shoot-out against Chelsea.
Liverpool players celebrating after the UEFA Super Cup soccer match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC in Istanbul, Turkey, 14 August 2019. Taken from: uefa.com
Listen to this article
Leer en español: Supercopa de Europa: Adrián le da el triunfo al Liverpool tras reñida tanda de penales
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 a 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 following Alisson Becker’s first-half injury in the Premier League opener against Norwich.
The Brazil No.1’s calf complaint led to the Spaniard’s 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.
“I was waiting to sign for a club, like a few months after the end of the season,” the Reds goalkeeper said after winning the Super Cup.
“So, I didn’t know at that moment that Liverpool would come to me and call me saying ‘Adrian, come on, come to us because Mignolet has an offer’ and they let him go.
“And obviously it was a bit hard summer for me, a different one because I didn’t know when I was going to a start with a team or another team, the Spanish league or not."
“But, 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.”
Adrian’s joy was as palpable as it was understandable after lifting the Super Cup at Besiktas Park, where there was some debate about his match-winning stop.
Pictures showed that the Liverpool goalkeeper had both feet off his line before saving Abraham’s spot-kick, leading to widespread debate online.
“Do you know, it is really difficult to be on the line because we need a step forward to push,” Adrian said about the winning save.
“But, 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.”