Liverpool claimed the FA Community Shield on Saturday evening with a 3-1 victory over Manchester City at the King Power Stadium.
Two late goals from Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez sealed victory in the 2022-23 season curtain-raiser amid heavy VAR intervention.
New Liverpool signing Darwin Nunez sealed victory for the reds as they landed the first blow of the season on champions Manchester City by winning a thrilling Community Shield encounter.
The FA Cup winners were pipped to the Premier League title by a single point last term after a season-long fight with City, but came out on top in a tremendous game in Leicester.
Playing at the King Power Stadium rather than Wembley – which will host Sunday’s Women’s Euros final – the two sides did not hold back in a match that tends to be badged as a ‘glorified friendly’.
Reds full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold scored the opening goal with a curling effort from the edge of the box which took a slight deflection off Nathan Ake and nestled in the far corner.
He celebrated by raising his finger to his lips in front of the City supporters, who had helped generate a thunderous atmosphere by trading jibes with their Liverpool counterparts.
City’s star summer signing Erling Haaland showed glimpses of what he will bring by drawing a good save from Adrian, while Nunez had a one-on-one effort kept out by Ederson.
But it was another newcomer – Julian Alvarez – who scored next, staying alert after Phil Foden’s shot was saved to poke home the equaliser from close range, with the goal awarded after a lengthy VAR check.
Mohamed Salah edged Liverpool back in front by scoring from the penalty spot with eight minutes remaining after referee Craig Pawson adjudged – from looking at the pitchside monitor – that Ruben Dias had handled inside the area.
And Nunez had the final say, stooping to head in from close range before wheeling off to celebrate in front of his new supporters.
City gave a debut to their own new centre-forwards, Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland, but the Norwegian would endure a frustrating afternoon, capped when he spurned a glorious late chance from inside the six-yard box.
Notable stats from the match
•▪️ Premier League
▪️ FA Cup
▪️ League Cup
▪️ Community Shield
Jürgen Klopp has now won every domestic trophy with Liverpool
•Most Community Shield wins:
🔴Manchester United – 21
🔴Arsenal – 16
🔴Liverpool – 16
It’s an all Red affair.
•📊 Darwin Núñez is the fourth player to score on his debut for Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp, after Sadio Mané, Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk, as per @OptaJoe
•Erling Haaland had fewer touches (8) than any other player in the first-half of the Community Shield.