…All female referee team ready for final showdown
Frank Lampard and his Chelsea troops will face their second heavyweight clash when they lock horns with Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul.
Liverpool enter the game as Champions League winners after beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the June final, while Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 to win the Europa League.
Liverpool hold the overall advantage, winning 78 to Chelsea’s 63, but the Blues do have the edge in Europe with three wins to two and five draws.
For the first time since 2013, there will be no Spanish team present in the Uefa Super Cup final.
In Prague in 2013, Chelsea – as Europa League winners – were one of the two non-Spanish teams, losing to Bayern Munich on penalties for their second Super Cup defeat in as many years after being humbled 4-1 by Atletico Madrid.
The back-to-back defeats are sandwiched between two Manchester United losses in 2008 and 2017 as English teams are currently without a Super Cup win in four attempts. The last English team to win the Super Cup were, in fact, Liverpool, who beat CSKA Moscow 3-1 in 2005.
But the 14-year wait will come to an end on Wednesday with the first-ever all-English Super Cup final, as Liverpool and Chelsea face off.
Both teams do have Super Cup successes to their name, with Liverpool adding to their 2005 glory with wins in 1977 and 2001, while Chelsea’s solitary victory came in 1998. However, both sides have also tasted defeat with two each, Chelsea losing the aforementioned 2012 and 2013 finals and Liverpool losing in 1978 and 1984.
The Blues endured a 4-0 humbling at the hands of Manchester United on Sunday, goals from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James suggesting they may struggle to cope without superstar winger Eden Hazard after the Belgian departed for Real Madrid during the summer.
Contrastingly, Liverpool made an impressive start to their 2019/20 Premier League campaign. Jurgen Klopp’s men collected three points at home to Norwich City, the Reds continuing their form of yesteryear with a convincing 4-1 victory over the newly-promoted Canaries.
Few people are more excited for the Super Cup than Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
This is his fourth major European final in three years and it will also be the first time he has managed a team in a Super Cup, having lost finals of both the Champions League and Europa League.
He said: “The Super Cup itself is not a cup that I’ve really loved to watch in the past.
“The Super Cup is the final proof; if you are not in that game, it means you didn’t win the final. That’s completely different this year, so we’re looking forward to it. It’s a big one.”
Frank Lampard is eager to mark just his second competitive match in charge with a trophy, is a game between two champions, it’s important as a club like Chelsea that we give everything to try to win it, I am optimistic because I believe in the players and I believe we are here in the final because we deserve to be here.
“I am very proud to be here managing the team but I am also very understanding of the quality of Liverpool, we know it’s going to be a big test, but yes I believe in my players and if we play to our maximum we can win the match.”
Meanwhile, France’s Stephanie Frappart will make history by becoming the first female to officiate in a major men’s European match she has no concerns about the scrutiny she will face in Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup final and the 35-year-old said: “I’m very happy, and it was really a surprise.
“I didn’t expect to be given the Super Cup assignment – it’s a great honour for me, and for female referees as well.
She will be along with her assistants, compatriot Manuela Nicolosi and Ireland’s Michelle O’Neill, Frappart also took charge of the women’s World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands last month. Nicolosi and O’Neill will assist her again in Istanbul.