West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has revealed he wanted Liverpool Super Cup hero Adrian to stay at the club.
The Spanish goalkeeper left West Ham as a free agent at the end of last season having lost his place to Lukasz Fabianski.
Adrian looked set for another season as back-up keeper when he completed a surprise move to Anfield just 10 days ago.
Yet the 32-year-old found himself immediately thrust into the spotlight following an injury to first-choice keeper Alisson Becker.
And Adrian became an instant Reds hero when he saved Tammy Abraham’s key penalty in the shootout against Chelsea in Istanbul on Wednesday night as Liverpool lifted the Super Cup.
Pellegrini said: “I’m very happy for him, because he played a lot of years here at West Ham. He’s a very good goalkeeper.
“For different reasons he couldn’t find an arrangement to continue here. We wanted him here because not only is he a good goalkeeper but he is a good player for the squad.
“He signed for Liverpool and put in a very good performance and I’m happy for him.”
Pellegrini takes West Ham to Brighton on Saturday looking to bounce back from their 5-0 opening-day mauling by former side Manchester City.
“It was not a good start to the season, we made too many mistakes and we need to improve to be a competitive team,” he added.
“We must be consistent in our style. All the preparation, or the most part of it, is in the way we can improve our style of playing.
“One defeat will not change our mindset. We have built a good squad. We must try to play better, we must defend better but it is just one game.”
Pellegrini is sweating on the fitness of record signing Sebastien Haller and Brazilian playmaker Felipe Anderson ahead of the trip to the south coast.
“They are trying to recover from the kicks they had in the last game. We will see tomorrow, we have some doubts,” he said.
Midfielder Jack Wilshere has trained all week despite coming off with a dead leg against City.
Skipper Mark Noble remains sidelined by a calf injury but is expected to return to training next week.
Kick It Out issued a “call to action” to social media companies after Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham was the victim of online racial abuse.
Abraham’s penalty was saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian to hand the Super Cup to the Reds on Wednesday night, and the 21-year-old was the subject of abusive posts on Twitter.
There have been a series of unsavoury incidents already this season and Kick It Out were quick to condemn it.
“Last night we received reports of racist abuse at Tammy Abraham on social media after Chelsea’s UEFA Super Cup match,” a Kick It Out statement read.
“Such abuse is now increasingly predictable, but no less disgusting.
“We send our support to Tammy and reiterate our call for Twitter and other social media companies to clamp down on this level of abuse. This is a call to action – we want to know what they are going to do to tackle this insidious problem.”
Christian Pulisic said he and his Chelsea team-mates would get behind Abraham after his shoot-out miss.
Frank Lampard’s reign as Blues boss got off to the worst possible start on Sunday as a second-half capitulation resulted in an embarrassing 4-0 loss at Manchester United.
Chelsea had precious little time to dust themselves down before Wednesday’s Super Cup clash in Istanbul, where they drew 2-2 with Jurgen Klopp’s Champions League winners after extra-time and went to penalties.
Back-up goalkeeper Adrian denied substitute Abraham to seal the Reds’ 5-4 triumph in Turkey, but Pulisic struck an optimistic tone after the defeat and was confident the miss would have no long-term impact on the England Under-21 forward.
“It’s penalties, man – somebody has to miss,” Pulisic said.
“He’s going to get his head up. Obviously it’s tough but penalties are like that. He can deal with it and he’ll be fine.
“He’ll move on, he’ll score a goal in the next game and everything will be forgotten. We’re there for him.”
Pulisic felt it was the second game in a row where Chelsea’s performance had not been rewarded with the right result.
“It was harsh on us,” the United States international said.
“A few things just didn’t go our way, a few decisions and in the end, to lose on penalties, that’s just how it goes.
“But we can be really proud of how we played. I don’t feel that we had a fair result at Old Trafford either.
“We’ve been creating enough chances to win these games and we just have to keep going and keep fighting.”
Pulisic had a goal ruled out for offside after setting up Olivier Giroud’s opener, only for Sadio Mane to level shortly after half-time.
The Senegal international put Liverpool ahead early in extra-time, only for Jorginho to make it 2-2 after Adrian was adjudged to have brought down Abraham in the box.
The striker wasted a great chance to win the Super Cup before the match went to a shoot-out, where Adrian denied the 21-year-old’s decisive spot-kick.
There does appear to be a real togetherness being fostered by Lampard, whose belief in youth and understanding of the club’s values makes Pulisic confident that a first win is close.
“It’s been great working with him,” the ex-Borussia Dortmund star said.
“We’ve learned a lot so far and I think you can see the team forming.
“We have a lot of great players which makes it easier. We’re on a good path.
“I felt great,” Pulisic said after his first start.
“To be out there with these guys… they are easy to play with. I’m happy that I can get some more minutes in and move forward with this team.”
Chelsea, meanwhile, confirmed on Thursday the club had taken legal action against 11 ticket touts, one of whom has received a six-month jail sentence, operating in the locality of Stamford Bridge on and around match days as part of an ongoing undercover operation which will continue throughout the 2019-20 season.
A statement from Chelsea read: “We remain committed to working alongside the Metropolitan Police and Local Authority to eradicate ticket touting from Stamford Bridge and will continue to operate a comprehensive and long-term operation to combat this problem.”
Provided by Press Association Sports
It was all smiles at the end of Gameweek 1 (GW1) as the Fantasy Premier League season got off to a flyer.
An average score of 65 was pretty impressive as several big-hitters delivered in the opening round of the Premier League fixtures.
Mohamed Salah (12.5m) did not disappoint while Raheem Sterling (12.1m) was the highest scorer with a hat-trick. Harry Kane (11m) bagged a brace as did Ashley Barnes (6.5m). Meanwhile, Manchester United assets gave FPL managers plenty to think about after their 4-0 win over Chelsea.
GW2, however, serves up a few more tricky fixtures. Liverpool and United travel to Southampton and Wolves respectively while Manchester City take on Tottenham at the Etihad in the match of the weekend.
Here’s a few picks to help you get off to a great start.
CAPTAIN – MOHAMED SALAH | LIVERPOOL | 12.5M
Salah was always going to be the safe option for the captaincy in GW1 and after coming good, there’s no reason to shift the armband on to someone else.
Sure, Sterling might have a few FPL managers thinking, especially those who may have captained him to begin with, but with Spurs to play next his appeal isn’t as high for this weekend.
After impressing during the Community Shield clash with City, Salah was again Liverpool’s main man in attack when Norwich paid them a visit. Not only did he deliver a goal and assist but his three key passes were also encouraging.
Salah is also one of the more consistent away performers in the game and particularly enjoys facing Southampton. The Egyptian has bagged five goals and an assist in four games against the Saints.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (11.0m) was absolutely clinical, finishing superbly to earn Arsenal all three points at Newcastle. While the lack of chances for the striker was a concern, he should see more at home to Burnley with Unai Emery expected to field a much stronger starting XI.
New arrivals Nicolas Pepe, Danil Ceballos, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney may all enter the fray to boost the Gunners.
SADIO MANE (11.5m) has been among the most transferred out players this week after Divock Origi started the opening game. However, the Senegalese should return to the starting line-up with another week of training under his belt.
There’s every chance he delivers against his former side and punishes FPL managers who may have been too hasty in getting rid of him.
TEEMU PUKKI (6.5m) was hugely impressive against Liverpool, already proving he can score against the big sides. He has no shortage of supply lines and looked really sharp getting in behind, managing three shots at Anfield when Jamie Vardy didn’t register any at home to Wolves and Callum Wilson had just one at home to Sheffield United.
A goal and seven points in arguably the toughest fixture bodes well for the future and playing Newcastle at home this time could well see him add to his tally.
ONE TO GET
ADRIAN | LIVERPOOL | 4.5M
Alisson Becker is expected to miss 4-6 weeks so Adrian is a really cheap way in to Liverpool’s clean sheet points for now. In 19 games during the 2017/18 season, he managed six clean sheets and an impressive 71.9 per cent save rate.
This move is also an opportunity to downgrade a Liverpool defender and use that money elsewhere. Make the switch soon though or it loses value. The Reds travel to Southampton who had just three shots on target in a 3-0 defeat at Burnley in GW1.
ONE TO AVOID
BERNARDO SILVA | MANCHESTER CITY | 8.0M
He may be one of the best players in the league but in FPL terms, Bernardo Silva is something of a liability this season. While the Portuguese proved to be good value last term at 7m, his price rise of 1m this time still doesn’t come with a guaranteed starting berth.
He was benched in GW with Riyad Mahrez (8.5m) starting on the wing instead and David Silva (7.5m) partnering Kevin De Bruyne (9.5m) in the middle. Even when he does start, Bernardo is an unselfish player and therefore doesn’t boast a high ceiling. You won’t get many double-figure hauls from him.
TODD CANTWELL | NORWICH CITY | 4.5M
Everything you need to know about how highly Todd Cantwell is regarded at Carrow Road is written on the back of his shirt. The iconic No14 of club legend Wes Hoolahan has been bestowed upon the 21-year-old and early signs suggest he may actually do it justice.
Cantwell has been most likened to James Maddison though, who created more chances than anyone in Europe last season. After a tough opening day at Anfield, Cantwell already has three chances to his name. If he can turn that creativity into FPL points, he could be a real bargain in an attacking Norwich outfit.