Chelsea meets Liverpool in Istanbul for UEFA Super Cup
Champions League winners Liverpool will meet Chelsea, the winners of the Europa League, to battle it out for the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday evening at Istanbul’s Beşiktaş Park.
Chelsea were subjected to a 4-0 drubbing by their league rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday’s English Premier League opening match, the competitive debut at Chelsea of the club’s new manager Frank Lampard.
But Liverpool are not expecting an easy time of tonight’s match, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told a news conference.
“If people think Chelsea aren’t a challenge then I can’t help these people … We respect Chelsea a lot. If you saw their result against (Manchester) United you’d have no idea how the game was,” he said.
Liverpool fans already have good memories of Istanbul, the city where they staged a miracle comeback to defeat AC Milan on penalties in the 2005 Champions League final, after falling behind by three goals in the first half.
Nearly 6,000 Liverpool fans have bought tickets for the match, while Chelsea asked for just over 1,300 tickets at the 41,000-capacity stadium.
Klopp and his team will be looking to add a new chapter to the fans’ love affair with the Turkish city by beating their English rivals to lift the Super Cup trophy in tonight’s match, which kicks off at 8 p.m. (GMT).
Istanbul’s police department has made preparations for the match by deploying an additional 15,000 police officers, 8,500 of them at and around the stadium. The authorities have also implemented traffic diversions and crowd control measures in the areas near the stadium.
Meanwhile, bar owners around the city are preparing for what could be a wild night, CNN reported, still remembering their mistake almost 20 years after Liverpool’s “Miracle of Istanbul”, when the fans drank some bars dry.
"We started selling whatever we had left at that point - we ran out of beer, we gave them whiskey, we ran out of that, we gave them vodka, we ran out of vodka, we gave them gin and finally they were drinking raki," a bar owner told CNN, referring to Turkey’s anise-flavoured spirit.
The bar owner said he had stocked up on beer especially for the British fans.