Manchester City won the Community Shield as they edged past Liverpool on penalties following a 1-1 draw at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Raheem Sterling netted the opening goal against his former employers as he tucked home in only the 12th minute. Both sides created plenty of chances and Liverpool drew level in the 77th minute as substitute Joel Matip headed beyond Claudio Bravo from close range. Neither side could take the lead as the game wore on and it headed to a penalty shootout.
Gini Wijnaldum was the only man to miss in the shootout with Gabriel Jesus scoring the decisive spot-kick to secure the Community Shield for Pep Guardiola’s men.
Lively opening to the season
A couple of early chances came and went for both sides in the capital. Sterling picked the pocket of Joe Gomez and fed Leroy Sane but the German blasted into the side-netting. A Manchester City mistake then gave Mo Salah a chance but he could only roll his effort wide.
The Premier League champions though then took the lead via a clever free-kick. Oleksandr Zinchenko nodded the ball across towards David Silva and the Spaniard’s deft touch carried it towards Sterling. The England forward then acrobatically nudged a shot underneath Alisson to give his side the lead.
The ex-Red could have had another but this time could not beat the Liverpool stopper at his near post.
Sterling continues to create problems for Liverpool
Sterling really was the star man throughout the game and almost played a key part in a City second after the break as he spun away from Trent Alexander-Arnold and crossed the ball towards Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian controlled and played it into David Silva, before the Spaniard lashed a shot over the crossbar.
The Reds did manage to roar into action though and twice hit the woodwork in their pursuit of an equaliser. Virgil van Dijk thought he was on the scoresheet as his volley hit the crossbar and bounced down onto the goal-line and away. Then, Salah displayed some fantastic skill to bamboozle the Manchester City defence before striking a powerful effort onto the base of the post.
It was the Citizens though who should definitely have got on the scoresheet next. A buccaneering run from Kyle Walker presented Sterling with a golden chance. However, he seemingly got stuck in two minds and stumbled when one-on-one with Alisson.
Matip rises highest to equalise
Both sides continued to push throughout the game and Salah again struck an effort towards the near post that was well held by Claudio Bravo.
Jurgen Klopp’s men did eventually get their equaliser. The ball fell to van Dijk at back post from a free-kick and he tossed it back in towards defensive partner Matip who headed low into the net.
Naby Keita could have edged the Reds ahead as he found space in the penalty area but Bravo palmed the ball away. Salah then almost profited from another mistake by the Premier League champions but Bravo was out well again to deflect the Egyptian’s effort away.
A stunning defensive intervention from Walker then saw the scores remain level going into the final few minutes. Salah again had the opportunity to score but his first shot was blocked by John Stones. The ball came back to the forward and he attempted to nod it in only for Walker to scramble back and produce an eye-catching bicycle kick clearance pretty much on the line.
As it happened though, neither side were able to edge ahead and the game headed into a penalty shootout. Both sides got off to the perfect start as Xherdan Shaqiri and Ilkay Gundogan netted their efforts. Gini Wijnaldum had his spot-kick saved though as Bravo guessed the right way. Bernardo Silva, Adam Lallana, Phil Foden and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all scored before Zinchenko just squeezed the ball underneath Alisson. Salah assumed responsibility to keep Liverpool in the tie and did just that as he blasted the ball home. Jesus decided the tie as he tucked the ball past compatriot Alisson to secure the Community Shield for Manchester City.
Despite being looked upon as a friendly, the match at Wembley really was a great watch. Both teams clearly wanted to win the game, with chances being carved out by both. The Citizens were the better side in the opening period but Liverpool really pushed after the break. It was probably unfair on either to lose the match on penalties but Manchester City now head into the new season having lifted yet more silverware.
Liverpool: Alisson (6); Robertson (6), van Dijk (7), Gomez (7), Alexander-Arnold (5) (Matip (7), 67′); Henderson (7) (Lallana (N/A), 79′), Fabinho (6) (Keita (7), 67′), Wijnaldum (6); Origi (6) (Oxlade-Chamberlain (N/A), 79′), Firmino (6) (Shaqiri (N/A), 79′), Salah (7).
Manchester City: Bravo (8); Zinchenko (6), Otamendi (7), Stones (7), Walker (8); D. Silva (7) (Gundogan (6), 61′), Rodri (7), De Bruyne (7) (Foden (N/A) 89′); Sane (N/A) (Jesus (7), 13′), Sterling (7), B. Silva (7).
Goals: Sterling (12′), Matip (77′)
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Yellow Cards: De Bruyne (33′)
Red Cards: N/A
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