With the Community Shield up for grabs on Saturday evening, Liverpool picked up some perfect momentum before opening the 2022/23 Premier League campaign next weekend.
Eventually leaving Leicester’s King Power with a 3-1 victory against title rivals Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp was filled with praise for his side’s display.
While Saturday’s showpiece event might have been billed as a glorified friendly, the Reds were a more than deserving winner here as goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez completed an eye-catching victory.
Laying down an early marker after watching the Sky Blues snatch away their Premier League crown last season, Klopp would have also been excited to see two of his attacking superstars open their accounts.
In a hugely enjoyable affair at the King Power, we have taken a look at the main talking points.
Liverpool lay down their marker
Although Klopp might have been somewhat critical about the need for a Community Shield event earlier in the week, the former Borussia Dortmund boss was thrilled by his side’s display on Saturday evening.
After finishing one-point adrift of Manchester City last season and watching the Sky Blues snatch away their Premier League crown, the Reds certainly laid down an early marker here.
Coming flying out of the traps and causing City a string of issues with their trademark high press, last season’s Champions League finalists should find the mood in their camp at a high.
With Saturday’s 3-1 win securing Klopp his first Community Shield trophy since arriving at Anfield in 2015, Liverpool will be looking to keep up that momentum next weekend.
Firing a clear signal of intent to the defending champions here, Klopp’s side will open the 2022/23 campaign when they make the trip to Fulham on August 6th.
Nunez silences his summer critics
Although Nunez might have come under real scrutiny following a handful of pre-season appearances earlier in the month, Liverpool’s record-signing showed why fans around Anfield are so excited by the 23-year-old’s arrival.
Coming off the bench on Saturday evening with just over 30 minutes left, Nunez was a constant nuisance to City’s defence and didn’t give them a second to rest.
Racking up four second-half goals in Liverpool’s 5-0 friendly victory against RB Leipzig on July 21st, the Uruguayan international showed why he could be so important to Klopp’s plans this season.
Wrapping up Liverpool’s 3-1 victory here as he guided past Ederson from close range deep in second-half injury-time, Nunez looks like he is an immediate fan favourite.
Arriving at Anfield from Benfica for a fee that could rise to €100million with add-ons, Nunez’s goal here also means he becomes the fourth debutant to find the net for the Reds under Klopp.
Salah extends on his stellar record against City
Although it might be Nunez that will steal plenty of the headlines following Saturday’s Community Shield victory, Klopp will be glad to see his other attacking MVP hit the ground running here.
Watching Sadio Mane make the move to Bayern Munich this summer, a move that upset many around Anfield, Salah’s contract extension was a real boost to Liverpool fans.
Finally announcing that the reigning PFA Player of the Year has signed a new long-term deal on Merseyside, the Egyptian icon also extended on a stellar record against the Sky Blues.
Converting from the spot just 13 minutes after City bagged a second-half equaliser, that strike means that the one-time Chelsea star has been directly involved in 13 goals against Guardiola’s side.
Bagging eight goals against the defending Premier League champions since the 20217/18 campaign, no player has recorded more strikes against the Citizens during that time.
Better days to come for Haaland
While Nunez might have gained plenty of plaudits following his impressive first outing on English soil, Erling Haaland will know that there are better days to come in a Sky Blue shirt.
Arriving at the Etihad this summer after Pep Guardiola’s side trigged the 21-year-old’s £51.2million release clause, the Norweigan superstar largely failed to find his feet on Saturday evening.
Watching a couple of first-half chances go to waste, the ex-Borussia Dortmund striker also somehow saw his close-range effort rebound off Adrian’s crossbar from just inside the six-yard box with just a few seconds remaining.
Although Haaland might know that he will be on the wrong end of some social media backlash following that glaring miss, the 21-cap international will undoubtedly prove to be a hit this season.
Racking up 86 goals in just his 89 appearances during his stay in rural Germany, he also last year became the youngest player in Champions League history to reach 20 strikes.
Are City paying for a lack of action this summer?
After reclaiming their Premier League crown last season thanks to a one-point advantage, many around Manchester would have been hoping for the Sky Blues to kick on this summer.
However, while Guardiola’s men might have collected pre-season friendly victories against Bayern Munich and Mexico’s Club America, they were the only contests they squeezed in ahead of Saturday’s showdown at the King Power.
Watching the likes of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko all leave the Etihad this summer, could City be caught cold when they open their Premier League campaign away at West Ham next weekend?
However, although Guardiola might have seen his side largely outplayed across the pitch here, the former Barcelona boss should be excited by Julian Alvarez’s display off the bench.
Briefly breathing life back into City’s charge as the 22-year-old poked home from close range with 20 minutes left, the ex-River Plate starlet was a positive note for City fans.
Liverpool: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Diaz
Subs: Jones, Carvalho, Elliot, Keita, Milner, Nunez
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne, Grealish, Mahrez, Haaland
Subs: Alvarez, Foden, Gundogan
Goals: Liverpool: Alexander-Arnold 21′, Salah 83′ (penalty), Nunez 90+4′ – Manchester City: Alvarez 70′
Yellow Cards: Liverpool: Nunez – Manchester City: Dias
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Craig Pawson
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