Liverpool player ratings as Roberto Firmino earns an 8 off the bench in Super Cup win over Chelsea

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Liverpool’s love affair with Istanbul was furthered as they enjoyed another victorious European night at the venue on Wednesday despite Chelsea’s best efforts.

An enthralling Super Cup was decided 5-4 on penalties in favour of the Champions League winners after the tie was level at 2-2 with extra-time concluded.

Tammy Abraham was the only player to miss from the spot with Adrian saving the 10th penalty of the shootout.

Earilier, Olivier Giroud had opened the scoring via an excellent pass from Christian Pulisic in the first half but Sadio Mane drew Liverpool level early in the second.

The Senagalese then gave his side the lead in extra time but his effort was cancelled by a Jorginho penalty after Abraham was brought down, taking the tie to a shootout where the Europa League winners were second best.

Here, we rate the performances of Liverpool’s players.

STARTING XI (4-3-3)

Adrian 7 – Quick off his line to deny Kovacic but couldn’t stop Giroud’s effort. Saved well from Abraham but then brought the striker down to concede a penalty soon after. Had the last laugh in the shootout though.

Joe Gomez 6 – Deployed on the right instead of Trent Alexander-Arnold for more defensive solidity but battle with Pulisic was 50-50. Moved to the left in extra-time.

Joel Matip 7 – Solid in defence, making several tackles and interceptions. Made a case to start alongside Van Dijk permanently.

Virgil van Dijk 7 – Indomitable in the air and was strong when dealing with Giroud and Abraham. Good in possession.

Andy Robertson 4 – Struggled against Pedro and wasn’t his usual attacking self.

Jordan Henderson 6 – Bombed down the right channel to combine with Salah in Alexander-Arnold’s absence and delivered some decent crosses.

Fabinho 6 – Blazed an effort wide in the second half. Was overrun at times but largely anchored the midfield well.

James Milner 6 – Forced the issue from midfield and created a few half chances.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 5 – Looked bright in parts and set up Salah for Liverpool’s best chance in first half but drifted out of the game and was replaced at the break.

Mohamed Salah 6 – Always looked a threat and went close to scoring. Wasn’t at his devastating best though.

Sadio Mane 7 – Should’ve done better with a couple of headers from corners. Scored the equaliser though before adding another with a fine strike in extra time.

SUBS

Roberto Firmino (46′) 8 – Turned the game on its head. Set up Mane twice and was integral to the attack.

Georginio Wijnaldum (64′) 6 – Neat and tidy with his passing after replacing Milner.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (91′) 5 – Had his hands full with Mason Mount.

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PSG start title defence without Neymar

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Paris St Germain manager Thomas Tuchel said he can understand fans’ frustration at Neymar as the Ligue 1 side started their title defence without the Brazilian.

The record signing was not named in the matchday squad for the comfortable 3-0 win over Nimes at the Parc des Princes with Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria all on the scoresheet.

But Neymar, said to be unsettled in France and who has been linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid, was also the focus of attention with a number of fans holding a banner telling him to “get lost” and chanting about the 27-year-old.

Tuchel, quoted in L’Equipe, said: “It’s tricky. I don’t know what to say. I saw it on my colleagues’ smartphones because I did not hear them (the chants) during the match.

“Can I understand it? Yes and no. He’s still our player, my player, and I protect all my players.

“He’s in my dressing room. I can understand that not everyone has liked what he has said and done.”

Cavani’s penalty, following a VAR review on 25 minutes, gave PSG an interval lead before second-half goals from Mbappe and Di Maria put the result beyond doubt.

Asked if Neymar’s creativity was missing, Tuchel said: “It’s always missing because he can find solutions that only he can find. He can open space with movement, an injection of pace, one on ones…”

Cavani put the champions up with a penalty after Nimes defender Pablo Martinez handled in the box with the spot kick awarded by VAR, with Mbappe and Di Maria both finding the net early in the second half.

Mbappe, twice, and Cavani both squandered further opportunities as PSG pressed for a fourth goal late on, while Nimes went close to a consolation in the closing stages through Antonin Bobichon and Renaud Ripart.

Provided by Press Association Sport 

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Gareth Bale included in Real Madrid squad for Roma friendly

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Gareth Bale has been recalled to the Real Madrid squad for their final pre-season friendly against Roma on Sunday night.

The Wales forward returns after being omitted from Zinedine Zidane’s squad for Wednesday’s clash with RB Salzburg, having also previously missed the club’s trip to Germany for the Audi Cup.

That came after the collapse of Bale’s proposed transfer to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning amid widespread speculation his six-year stay in Spain could be about to end.

PA understands Bale skipped the trip to Germany, where the Spanish giants faced Tottenham and Fenerbahce, as he was furious with his treatment at the hands of Real boss Zidane and president Florentino Perez and felt he was not in the right frame of mind to play.

The 30-year-old’s future at the Bernabeu has been uncertain since Zidane returned to manage Real for a second time in March.

However, Bale, who joined Real from Tottenham for a then world £85million in 2013 and has three years left on his contract, has now been included in a 20-man squad to face Roma at the Stadio Olimpico later on Sunday.

That will be Real’s seventh and final pre-season friendly, of which Bale has featured in two so far.

Colombia forward James Rodriguez, whose Real future is also uncertain, was not part of the squad to travel to Italy.

The 13-time European champions begin their LaLiga campaign away to Celta Vigo next weekend.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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