The Reds endured a tough, sticky night in Istanbul as they were required to go the full distance in a vanity ‘final’ which somehow deemed extra time necessary.
The heat and a shoddy pitch at Besiktas Park made it a difficult game for both sides, with the Blues going in front through Olivier Giroud, only for Sadio Mane to score a brace and needing a Jorginho penalty to set up a shootout.
Winning that, Liverpool lifted their first trophy of the campaign, and here’s how the clash unfolded in five key statistics.
Klopp made five changes to his side from the Premier League opener against Norwich, as Adrian, Joel Matip, James Milner, Sadio Mane and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came in for Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gini Wijnaldum, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino.
For Oxlade-Chamberlain, it marked a first competitive start for the Reds since he damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in the 5-2 win over AS Roma last April.
This meant there were 477 days between then and his full return to the side, and though it saw him produce a quiet display on the left wing, it is a major milestone for the midfielder.
That it came over five months on from his first start back for the under-23s highlights how carefully Liverpool are managing his recovery.
Oxlade-Chamberlain turned 26 on August 15, with his birthday coming while the Reds were still on the pitch during extra time.
Adrian’s Penalty Prowess
The narrative of Adrian going from goalkeeper-for-hire to Liverpool’s hero in Istanbul is a heartwarming one.
But few should have been surprised that the 32-year-old was able to pull off the decisive save in the shootout, stopping Tammy Abraham’s low effort with his feet to win 5-4.
The first came over Everton in the FA Cup, and the Spaniard even scored the winner that time, throwing his gloves down during his run-up to blast the ball beyond Joel Robles and reach the fourth round in 2015.
That same year, the Hammers scraped past Birkirkara in the Europa League qualifiers, winning 5-3 on penalties.
After coming off the bench against Norwich last Friday, Mane was back in the starting lineup less than a month after the Africa Cup of Nations final.
Such a short break may be a concern for the Reds further down the line this season, but Klopp can be forgiven for his eagerness to start the No. 10 given his excellent form.
Mane played his 200th game for an English club on Wednesday night, with 125 of those coming for the Reds.
The 27-year-old is improving by the day, and should now be considered a genuine, world-class talent, and certainly one of Liverpool’s most important players.
After silverware eluded him in his first three campaigns with the Reds, Klopp has now lifted two European trophies in the space of two-and-a-half months.
The UEFA Super Cup was his 800th game as a manager, and Opta detailed his improving record over the years.
His win ratio has stepped up with each club, from Mainz (40%) to Borussia Dortmund (56%) to Liverpool (57%).
Though the resources available to him have increased with every move, Klopp is undoubtedly one of the best managers in world football, and is now backing that up with titles.
Reds Back on Their Perch
Last but not least, Liverpool are now back on their f***ing perch.
Victory in the UEFA Super Cup has given the Reds a 43rd major honour in their history, with this being the fourth time they have lifted the trophy itself.
This joins 18 First Division titles, six European Cups, seven FA Cups and eight League Cups, with Man United now sitting second with 42 in total.