What happened the last time Liverpool's 35-year-old backup had to play with silverware on the line
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

What happened the last time Liverpool's 35-year-old backup had to play with silverware on the line

Here’s what happened the last time Adrián started in a final for Liverpool ahead of his expected start in the Community Shield. The Spaniard is the Reds’ third-choice goalkeeper right now.

Adrián could have left Liverpool this summer and early reports suggested he would. The Spaniard told Cadena SER that he was exploring his options, with Real Betis seemingly interested.

No one blinked an eye at that, of course. Adrián is now Liverpool’s third-choice goalkeeper behind Alisson Becker and Caoimhín Kelleher – he’s rarely even on the bench. At 35, he may be giving up his final chances at regular football.

But Adrián now looks likely to start for Liverpool in the Community Shield tomorrow. Alisson is officially ruled out of the contest, with Kelleher almost certainly out, too. The Irishman hasn’t featured at all in pre-season because of an injury.

Liverpool, then, will be thankful that the veteran goalkeeper opted to remain with the club – they’ll need him. It means that the team will rely on Adrián with silverware on the line, too, and this isn’t the first time that’s happened.

So how did it go last time?

Adrián to start in Community Shield

Alisson picked up an injury to start the 2019/20 campaign as the Reds won 4-1 against Norwich City. That ruled him out of an upcoming meeting with Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.

Kelleher hadn’t pushed on to be backup yet and new-signing Adrián got the nod in Istanbul. The game would finish 2-2 after extra time – Sadio Mané scoring both goals for Liverpool.

Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

To penalties it went, then, and it was Adrián who became the hero on the night. He saved Chelsea’s final penalty from Tammy Abraham after the previous nine from both sides had found the net. With the save, he delivered Liverpool’s fourth Super Cup.

The injury to Alisson would force Adrián into the XI for 11 Premier League games that season and it’s worth noting that the Reds won all of them. Even if the Spaniard has struggled since, his initial record for Liverpool was fantastic – even without the Super Cup heroics.

Maybe fans don’t need to be too concerned about Saturday, then, even if it’s not an ideal situation. Adrián has delivered before to win some silverware. Perhaps he can do it again.

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