Liverpool edged out Chelsea on penalties after a long and wearying European Super Cup went all the way down to the wire in Istanbul.
Frank Lampard‘s Blues dominated the first half, eventually taking the lead through Olivier Giroud, their top scorer in the Europa League last season, when he found himself free in the box to shoot across goal and into the bottom corner, past stand-in keeper Adrian.
However, like against Manchester United on Sunday, they couldn’t quite make their first-half domination count as Pedro hit the woodwork and Christian Pulisic had a goal ruled out correctly after a narrow offside call.
They paid for that profligacy when Liverpool, coming out with renewed vigour with Roberto Firmino on for a subdued Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, equalised in opening minutes of the second half.
The Brazilian substitute ran onto a floated-in ball from Fabinho, and Sadio Mane was on hand to help his shot over the line.
Both sides had chances to go ahead in the second half, with Kepa Arrizabalaga making a remarkable double save to deny Liverpool, while Chelsea had another goal denied by the offside flag after Mason Mount struck past Adrian.
Firmino and Mane linked up well once again early on in extra time, carving open space in the Chelsea box with a neat one-two, finished off by the Senegalese for his second.
That lead only lasted five minutes though, as Adrian was adjudged to have caught Tammy Abraham. Jorginho stepped up coolly slot the resultant penalty past the Spanish goalkeeper.
Both sets of players visibly flagged on a hot and humid night in Turkey as the final whistle was blown.
In the shootout, Liverpool scored all five of their penalties, before Abraham struck Chelsea’s straight fifth at Adrian.
Slovenian Club Sacks Nigerian Player For Impregnating President’s Daughter
One of four Nigerian players plying their trade in the Slovenia second division has been sacked for impregnating the daughter of his club president.
Bede Osuji, Temitope Nelson, Gerald Chijioke and Sulaiman Adedoja are the four Nigerian playing in the second division league in Slovenia.
With the particular player yet to be identified and name of club withheld, one can only guess who among the four is the victim.
The player has since returned to Nigeria after just six months of his three-year contract with the club.
While narrating his Story , the player said “I signed a three year deal with the option of another year but last month I ran into trouble when my girlfriend who happens to be the daughter of the president said she was pregnant for me”, he said.
“The club got to know about it and summoned me for a meeting. I got there and admitted that I am responsible for the pregnancy and I was told to stay at home and not to be seen around the club premises until I am instructed to return.
“A week later I was called to the office and told that my agent has been informed about their plans to terminate my contract for gross misconduct and indiscipline.
The news came to me as a surprise because I have not been found wanting in any area since I arrived at the club six months ago.” The Nigerian player says he is considering legal action at FIFA over the claims of the club that he went beyond the boundary set for players of the club.
“My agent called me up and said we should file a case with FIFA that he has a recording of the president saying my contract was terminated for having an affair with his daughter. She’s an adult for God sake, we both love each other and decided to have a child.
“Now I don’t know what will happen to her and the child since I’m back in Nigeria. They have forced her to block me on all social media platforms so we have not been communicating. The few friends I made at the club are also scared of speaking to me about her apparently they don’t want to run into trouble with the team. I’m confused right now,” he concluded.
Deontay Wilder And Tyson Fury Are The Best In The World, But I’d Beat Them — Anthony Joshua
IBF, WBA, IBO and WBO boxing champion of the world, Anthony Joshua has stated that he will like to fight Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury and he has the necessary style and technique to beat them both.
Tyson Fury and Wilder are the only undefeated heavyweight boxers in the division, and fans are hoping for a mega fight that will involve Joshua and either Fury or Wilder after Joshua defeated Andy Ruiz unanimously in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night to take back his heavyweight belts.
Fury will face Wilder on February 22 in Las Vegas in a rematch that is sure to spin heads with the Lineal heavyweight belt and WBC belts on the link, after their last fight in 2018 was adjudged a draw despite Fury being the more technical and clinical of the pair.
Fury and Wilder have both been critical of Joshua with both fighters accusing Joshua of avoiding them for the last two years but Joshua has now come out to say he will beat both fighters if and when they ever fight.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain programme live from Saudi Arabia on Monday morning, Joshua was asked whether he was going to fight them next and said: “I would love to make that my next fight.
“I’m taking it one step at a time. Whenever they are ready they know where to find us.
I’m not a running champion, I’m someone who will fight the best in the world.
“Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are those guys. I’d love the opportunity to beat Wilder or Fury.
“You can see I’d beat them.
“I’ve displayed different styles of fighting. Sometimes inside fighting, sometimes knockout fighting and sometimes a boxing man’s fight.
“So I feel like I have their number because I can display a variety of skills when it comes to boxing.”
There’s also the possibility of Joshua defending his IBF belt against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, and Joshua says he’ll relish it.
Asked about the prospect of fighting the Bulgarian bruiser in London, AJ said: “It would be mega. Looking at how many people came out here shows there’s still a big interest in the heavyweight division, especially now we are taking the belts back.
“To defend them back on home soil would be big news.
It would be better against another Brit but, if not, I will follow my mandatory and crack on that way.
“London’s calling, I think. We’ve been away for the whole year but it’s nice to have a breather.
“It’s nice to have a bit of controversy, a bit of doubt.
It just shows that British supporters do play a big part in my career. Any time I’m on home soil I can’t lose.
“The work begins again because around March I’ll be defending those titles again. I’m already focusing on my next fight.”
Deontay Wilder Slams Joshua For Tactics Used In Defeating Ruiz
Deontay Wilder, the man who may likely be heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s opponent very soon, has slammed him for the tactics he used in his victory over Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday.
Joshua reclaimed the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles following a comprehensive win via unanimous decision in Saudi Arabia. Following his shock defeat at Madison Square Garden in June, Joshua used clever movement and worked behind a stiff jab to keep Ruiz at bay in their rematch. Two ringside judges scored the contest 118-110, while the other delivered a more comprehensive verdict of 119-109, all in Joshua’s favour.
But Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion and who remains unbeaten after his win over Luis Ortiz last month, has criticised Joshua for adopting a similar style to Wladimir Klitschko to get over the line against Ruiz.
‘Joshua did what he had to do to get the win. He ran around the ring and was on his bike all day,’ Wilder told The Athletic.
‘Basically, he had Klitschko in the camp and he was a lot like Klitschko: that jab-grab-hold method. That’s all he did tonight.
Joshua had many times he could’ve gone for the finish after he landed the right hand.When you land the right hand, you’ve tackled the distance. When you land that punch, you know you’re in exact position for the second time around.
But he was so hesitant… Joshua’s mentality was to survive. The Klitschko method.–Deontay Wilder
“You want to dominate guys, man. Maybe I’m just too rough, too hardcore and too much of a dream for this time and era, maybe the world wants that nice shit… my mentality is so different from these other fighters.
‘But when I think of myself as a champion… you want to come out there and whoop his ass.
‘I’m not coming in, after losing to this guy, to just dance and grab and jab and hold. ‘I’m going to show the world and convince them I am the very best and that no one is close to me, especially with what’s going on in the division right now. It’s a time of proving who is the best.
‘Joshua had many times he could’ve gone for the finish after he landed the right hand.
‘When you land the right hand, you’ve tackled the distance. When you land that punch, you know you’re in exact position for the second time around.
‘But he was so hesitant… Joshua’s mentality was to survive. The Klitschko method.
‘The difference is my mentality is that of a beast, a warrior, a king, an emperor – all those things. If he calls himself a king, he’s just on the nicer side of it. This is a brutal sport and that’s how I treat it. I ain’t showing no love for anybody in that ring.’