Sunday, August 7, 2022

Nunez outshines Haaland as Liverpool beat Man City and win Community Shield

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Nunez comes off the bench to change the game while Haaland remains isolated up front as the Reds win 3-1 in the opener

Liverpool fired the first shot in what is likely to be another close Premier League title fight between them and Manchester City with a controlled Community Shield win at King Power.

Liverpool 3 Man City 1 (21 Alexander-Arnold, 83 Salah, penalties, 90+4 Nunez / 70 Alvarez)

Darwin Nunez ended a convincing performance from the Reds after goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah put Jurgen Klopp’s side on course for the trophy.

Julian Alvarez had leveled City’s tie with a quick finish after Adrian’s mistake, but Pep Guardiola’s side were second-best for most of the game.

New signing Erling Haaland even missed an open goal in stoppage time – the Norway international hit the bar with his hasty finish as he jumped on a spilled shot.

Saturday’s clash was an opportunity for fans to get their first glimpse of Haaland and Nunez in the flesh. And while City failed to nurture their new forward all game, it was Nunez who made the big impression coming off the bench.

Adrian – Had denied Haaland early on and didn’t have much to do, but made a handling error when Alvarez equalized. 6/10

Trent Alexander Arnold – Scored the first goal and looked hungry for the ball all afternoon. 6/10

Joel Matip – A willing Van Dijk substitute was caught by City’s goal but generally maintained his discipline as he got the better of Haaland. 6/10

Virgil van Dijk – Had certainly beaten the Haaland battle and didn’t seem overly concerned. He really makes the difference to this Reds backline. 8/10

Andrew Robertson- Played on the front foot for most of the first half but was steadily pushed back in the second. Despite this, he went about his work with aplomb. 6/10

Jordan Henderson – Remains the steady presence in Liverpool midfield. Still a little loose when in possession, but gets sharper again with match fitness. 6/10

Fabinho – Marshalled the midfield lines so well that City couldn’t thread the ball through to Haaland all afternoon. A typically disciplined performance. 8/10

Tiago Alcantara – Was steadily losing control in his fight on the left flank against Bernardo Silva. But there was Fabinho to intervene. 6/10

Mohammad Salah – Exciting on the ball and always dangerous, Salah should have offered more over the 90 minutes. But it was composed on the spot. 7/10

Roberto Firmino – Struggled to get out of Dias’ shadow all day but had good connection with Salah on occasion. Nunez replaced the center forward with 30 minutes remaining. 6/10

Luis Diaz – Well connected with Robertson as Liverpool tried to overload the wings all afternoon. The cohesion with Firmino wasn’t quite there, however. 6/10

Subtitle:

Darwin Nunez – Had half an hour to show his quality and could have challenged a viable penalty with his first touch had it not been for offside. Denied by Ederson in a one-on-one, then by Diaz’s hand, but eventually achieved his objective on death. 9/10

James Milner- Another season begins for veteran James Milner. Replaced Alexander-Arnold at right-back and inspired the attack that led to Liverpool’s penalty. 7/10

Harvey Elliott – Maintained discipline as he substituted for Henderson for the final fifteen minutes. 7/10

Naby Keita – Maintained his position for the 12 minutes he was on the pitch. 6/10

Fabio Carvalho – n/a

Curtis Jones – n/a

Ederson – Couldn’t do anything against Alexander-Arnold’s goal. Like Adrian, he was generally easygoing and did well when called upon, particularly to refuse Nunez at close range. 7/10

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