Manchester City triumphed but Liverpool can believe after cup showing (Match Highlights)
Manchester City remains the team to beat, no question about that but the gap between them and last season’s runner up, Liverpool is getting thinner and thinner by the games.
The two teams filed out for the traditional curtain-raiser to the season, the Community Shield Cup which gives back to the society the proceeds from the game and the Citizens took to the turf in their colonial-era strips, but their early display was more modern than we’ve ever seen; wantaway forward, Leroy Sane blitzed through Liverpool right-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold a few times before being trampled on by the English right-back, an incident that ended the afternoon for the promising German.
Not long afterward, Raheem Sterling stabbed home from a deft cut back by the pint-sized veteran, David Silva with Alison feeling he could have done better with that, from then on it was the league champions ramming in on the Liverpool defense.
The desire from both sides in a game that could have been seen as a mere friendly showed signs of what is to come in the new season, and you can only feel for the rest of the bunch; the entire first half was end to end but with City looking the likelier to score.
Mohammed Salah missed a glitz edged chance early on when teed up by Firminho and then indecision cost Origi another chance afterward, that was about it for Liverpool in the first half as City went on to press high up the pitch leaving the highly impressive new signing, Rodrigo in the middle to shore things up. Alison denied Bernardo Silva from close range and Joe Gomez got in a timely tackle to deny Sterling a shooting chance just before the break.
The second half started the way the first ended with City pummeling the European champions but the dust settled quickly and Liverpool took charge, forcing corners, errors, and panics in the City defense; the introduction of Naby Keita turned the game on its head, Kevin De Bryune remained the leading light for the champions but Liverpool kept on believing, Sterling broke free but he thought he was offside and dilly-dallied till Alison thwarted his golden chance.
Jurgen Klopp rang few more changes since he had the luxury of six out of the seven named on the bench for the encounter, Xhedan Shakiri, Joel Matip, and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain took to the turf and it was Joel Matip that got the equalizer having been fed by a sleek lob around the byline by Virgil Van Dirk who was denied by the crossbar moments earlier, and from then on, it was all Liverpool; City took their feet off the gas, absolved the pressure and if it were not for poor finishing from the Liverpool forwards and a sensational scissors kick clearance off the line by Kyle Walker, the men in Red would have triumphed in normal time.
The game went into penalties and Gini Wjinaldum had his spot-kick saved by Bravo to hand City the Shield Cup for the second year running. With Manchester United in no man’s land over the Dybala and Bruno Fernandez situations, Arsenal fixing things upfront and keeping Agent Mustafi in a porous defense and Chelsea trying to manage the squad, everything points to the fact that these two gladiators will remain as the teams to beat this season.
Watch the full match highlights below: