Manchester City won the Community Shield and the first trophy of the season, by defeating Liverpool on penalties, 5-4. It was 1-1 following the regular part of the match, but the Citizens had more nerves during the penalty shootout. Guardiola’s team retained the silverware won after beating Chelsea last year.
Raheem Sterling was the scorer on one side, and Joel Matip on the other.
The season of soccer in England is traditionally opened with a Community Shield match. In front of more than 75 thousand spectators at Wembley, two of the most dominant clubs on the island met, putting up one solid show for the audience. In the end, the details prevailed on City’s side.
One of those details was provided by Citizens’ goalkeeper Claudio Bravo who stopped Wijnaldum’s shot from the penalty spot. It was the only missed strike during the shootout, after which Gabriel Jesus sealed the game for the Premier League champions.
Both sides took one part of the game to dominate. City was better in the first half, and the Reds completely ruled the pitch in the last 25 minutes of the match. We could say that the champs had a lot of luck for getting away with a draw.
“Incredible final from both sides. We were in a really good moment in the first half, but in the last 15 we were exhausted, so we were bad,” stated Guardiola at the press.
Sterling’s reaction in the box after only 12 minutes of play put the Citizens ahead and shocked L’Pool. Until the end of the halftime, there were several more chances for City, but weren’t that dangerous. Just after the start of the second half, David Silva and Sterling had each an opportunity to double the lead, but they lacked composure in the finish.
From that moment on, Liverpool took on the initiative and started pressuring the sky-blues. Van Dijk’s effort ended on a crossbar, and shortly after Salah hit the post.
Eventually, Matip leveled the result 13 minutes before the final whistle. But the European champions didn’t stop there, as they squeezed City into the box, not allowing the rival to breathe. Several chances were wasted, and that, in the end, cost Reds the trophy.
“The second half was wow… a really good performance, powerful performance,” Jurgen Klopp told the reporters. The German was happy to see his players responding after being down at the break.
“To come here and play the second half, we were in charge of the game. We could have decided it but didn’t do it. It’s how it is,” the German concluded.
— SoccerMatrix ⚽ (@Soccer_Matrix) August 4, 2019
Community Shield indicates another big battle between City and Liverpool, who are arguably the two best clubs in England. But according to Pep Guardiola, things are not like that. The Spaniard believes that other clubs have higher quality than during the previous season.
“I would say there will be many (clubs). United will be back, Tottenham, Arsenal. Chelsea are always there,” he said.
All these teams have their ambitions, but it appears that Tottenham looks like the most serious challenger to the above-mentioned duo. If they had some luck in the previous campaign, the Spurs could have interfered the title race.
The season starts next Friday, with Liverpool hosting Norwich City, who earned the promotion from the Championship. On the other side, Manchester City will travel to London to face West Ham on Saturday. The ultimate derby of the opening round takes place at the Old Trafford and close Week 1 on Sunday afternoon.