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Confidence, quality and hunger – 5 talking points from Community Shield win

It was the perfect start to the season for the Reds, getting one over Man City, and new signing Darwin Nunez getting the huge confidence boost he needed.

Liverpool 3-1 Man City

Community Shield, King Power
July 30, 2022

Goals: Alexander-Arnold 21′, Salah pen 83′, Nunez 94′; Alvarez 72′


Strong starting line-up a pointer for the season

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool players line-up for a team group photograph before the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After multiple lineups in pre-season – up to three in the same game – it was a tried and tested starting eleven, with Joel Matip getting the nod ahead of Ibrahima Konate, and Bobby Firmino and Luis Diaz taking two of the coveted front three spots.

With Adrian in goal, it meant it was the oldest average starting XI for the club since 1953. Experience was what the boss went for.

Jurgen Klopp clearly wanted to add this piece of silverware – the only domestic trophy he was yet to win in England – to his ever-growing collection.

Expect Klopp to keep with the more experienced players in the opening weeks of the season, with a settling in period for the likes of Nunez and Fabio Carvalho.

Post-match, Trent Alexander-Arnold said that two defeats in the Reds’ previous Community Shield outings was the Reds’ motivation ahead of this one and it showed.

 

Reds press unsettling for City

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Milner, captain Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson celebrate with the trophy after the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A feature of Man City’s game is their ability to run teams ragged with their passing game. But not when they come up against a master tactician such is Klopp.

The Reds showed intent from minute one, not giving their opponents a moment to settle, and as such, disrupted their typical game plan.

One example was on 15 minutes when Riyad Mahrez was tackled on his right wing by the effervescent Luis Diaz, a clear show of intent from our lads.

When City did get a period of possession, the Reds were quick to get into the perfect shape to snuff them out. The first half was a masterclass on how to nullify Man City’s game plan, and it worked a treat.

 

The Scouser In Our Team

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Trent’s cross / shot / effort – whatever it was, after good work from Thiago and Mo Salah opened our account for the season.

Another reminder, not that anyone of a Red persuasion needed one, of his importance to the team.

Detractors will forever exaggerate his defensive shortfalls, but as an attacking outlet he is second to absolutely nobody.

 

City get a taste of their own medicine

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Another feature of Man City’s play under Guardiola is their strategic fouls whenever the opposition win the ball off them.

Here, the tables were turned, with the Reds snapping in to tackles and breaking up the City counters with ‘tactical’ fouls. Whatever City tried, the Reds had an answer to absolutely everything.

 

Darwin’s confidence boost

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man City did not deserve their equaliser. After a decent 20 minutes at the end of the first half, they were second best throughout the rest of the game up until they scored a scrappy equaliser.

Nunez could have put the game beyond them minutes before they scored, but hit it into Ederson’s face instead of the back of the net.

Nonetheless, it was a hugely positive display throughout from the lads and they thoroughly deserved the victory.

The much-maligned VAR got it right both times. City’s equaliser was onside, and the penalty was as obvious as it gets – although it should never have gone to VAR in the first place.

Klopp was even able to rub it in by introducing the kids to see out the game. All capped off by the massive threat and elite goal scorer Nunez who City could not handle – and, of course, by that 96th minute open goal miss from Haaland.

What a huge confidence boost for the 22-year-old with the big price tag on his shoulders. You could see how much it meant to him.

Liverpool FC – Community Shield Winners 2022.

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