Liverpool beat Manchester City to finally land the Community Shield

liverpool fc 2022 charity shield trophy celebration

Liverpool 3 vs 1 Manchester City – Liverpool won the Community Shield for the first time in 16 years as they outplayed Premier League Champions Manchester City at the King Power Stadium.

The first to be played outside of Wembley for 10 years due to the national stadium hosting the Women’s Euro 2022 final.

The win gives boss Jurgen Klopp a domestic treble of the League Cup, FA Cup and Community Shield, whereby 2022 has been a year of firsts for the German.

He has now won all the major trophies in English football.

Having lost two finals under the German, 1-1 and 5-4 on penalties back in 2019 to the very same opponents, Manchester City, and in 2020 to Arsenal on penalties by the same scoreline, this would have come as a big relief for Klopp and his players.

A case of third time lucky.

 

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Qualifying by virtue of being FA Cup winners, it was Liverpool who raced into the perfect start as Spanish playmaker Thiago Alcântara whipped the ball over to Mohamed Salah, who nicely laid the ball off on the edge of the penalty area to Trent Alexander-Arnold who curled in with aplomb.

The ball taking a slight deflection off City defender Nathan Ake’s head before ricocheting off the post and crashing against the back of the net.

Scouse hero Alexander-Arnold and his teammates wheeled away in glee as Liverpool took a surprise lead.

City’s new £51 million bargain, Erling Braut Haaland should have equalised as he easily brushed off Andrew Robertson, who should have done better, but the Norwegian could only volley straight at Adrián.

Another chance then fell the way of Haaland, as Bernando Silva whipped in an inviting ball to the 22-year-old, but he completely misfired his shot, and Riyad Mahrez’s tame header was easily scooped into the gloves of Adrián.

Klopp’s men then broke on the counter-attack, splicing through the City defence, like a knife through butter, as Ake and Rúben Dias were caught completely out of position, leaving skipper Jordan Henderson to side-foot a fine through ball through to debutant Darwin Núñez, but he could only fire straight at Ederson.

Liverpool should have been 2-0 up, but the boss clapped and applauded the Uruguayan as a strong show of support to his new £85 million striker.

City finally landed the equaliser in the 70th minute as Kevin de Bruyne played a sumptuous ball over the top for Phil Foden who volleyed a simple shot straight at Adrián, but the Spaniard clumsily spilt the ball into the path of the onrushing Julián Álvarez to finished confidently.

The goal initially being ruled out for offside only for VAR to overturn the decision.

Not for the first time has Adrián cost Liverpool big games. After being the Super Cup hero against Chelsea back in 2019, a catalogue of errors had left fans calling for him to be sold, hence his inclusion being a surprise.

 

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The third-choice goalie coming in due to Alisson’s usually reliable deputy Caoimhin Kelleher absent through injury.

It didn’t take long though for Liverpool to reclaim the lead, as Salah raced up the wing and crossed for new boy Núñez, whose header was handled in the penalty area by Dias.

Eventually VAR correctly awarded Liverpool a penalty, and Egyptian talisman Salah confidently slotted past Ederson into the bottom corner of the net, as the FA Cup winners’ fans went wild.

Liverpool then seized the match by the scruff of the neck, in the fourth minute of injury-time as Salah’s cross was headed down by Robertson into the path of Núñez whose leaping header trickled into the corner of the City net to send the Liverpool fans and players into a state of ecstasy.

There was still time for Haaland to sky an open goal but this was to be Liverpool’s day, as they took home the Charity Shield for the first time since 2006, and only their third win of the 21st century.

Klopp praises Núñez

The boss had this to say after the match.

“He was good, really good. It is clear he will get better with time. I liked his impact today,” he said.

“The goal was obviously the icing on the cake, so I’m really pleased for him.

“You could see in his face, and of his teammates, how happy the boys are for him and that’s a really good sign after such a short period of time that he’s been with us.”

Analysis

This was the perfect start to Liverpool’s season, coming two-three weeks early of course due to the first mid-season winter World Cup in Qatar.

It’s clear manager Klopp could not be more delighted with his team’s performance.

 

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Meanwhile, 23-year-old Núñez completely upstaged his counterpart Haaland with an astonishing display on his debut.

A goal giving him the confidence boost that he has a long and successful Anfield career ahead of him.

 

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James Spencer

My name is James and I have supported Liverpool since I was 6 years old. My favourite players growing up were Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia. My most memorable match would be the UEFA Cup Final win over Deportivo Alaves that finished 5-4 to Liverpool! I am studying journalism in Manchester although I am a Liverpool fan through and through.

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