Originally posted on Sporting News | Last updated 7/30/22
KING POWER STADIUM, LEICESTER — The Community Shield promised to be a tale of two new strikers, and that’s exactly what it delivered, as Liverpool defeated Manchester City to complete Jurgen Klopp’s trophy collection.
Darwin Nunez came off the bench to wrap up a 3-1 victory for the Reds. Erling Haaland, meanwhile, struggled to find his feet in his own competitive debut.
In the annual clash of the reigning Premier League champions and FA Cup holders, Liverpool began in the ascendancy, with the likes of Mo Salah and Jordan Henderson finding plenty of joy down their right flank.
In a first half understandably full of misplaced passes, poor touches and minor blips of concentration, the Reds struck through Trent Alexander-Arnold. He gave Liverpool a deserved lead with his effort from the right flank curling outwards onto the back post and in. The head of Nathan Ake glanced the ball on the way in, but the goal primarily came from both Alexander-Arnold and the man who assisted him, Salah, being given too much room to operate.
In the second period, City gained a foothold and eventually an equaliser, with Argentinian Julian Alvarez enjoying a dream start to life at City with a debut goal. Phil Foden’s first-time strike was parried by Adrian to Alvarez, who made no mistake with 20 minutes remaining, even if it needed the aid of VAR for an offside call to be overturned.
Despite a short resurgence from Pep Guardiola’s men in which they briefly threatened to turn the screw, Liverpool then wrestled back control. A header from Nunez struck the hand of Ruben Dias, with VAR again called to action to award the spot-kick. Salah stepped up and fired it low to Ederson’s left.
Nunez’s head was set to play one more pivotal role, though, as he stooped low to finish off the curtain-raiser in style. The centre-forward had been cheered to the rafters all afternoon, and enjoyed his special moment with the fans, ripping off his shirt in celebration. Try debating the competitiveness of this game with him.
After narrowly missing out on the title to City on the final day of last season, and failing to win any of their last five Premier League games against the Citizens, Klopp’s men have set down an early marker in the next chapter of this thrilling rivalry.
Read more about the match here.