By Amosu Adeboye
Manchester City have prevailed over Liverpool in a penalty shootout on Sunday afternoon to win their second successive Community Shield at Wembley Stadium.
Joel Matip cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s earlier effort to leave an entertaining contest to be decided by spot kicks, and City put together a perfect record to run out 5-4 victors from 12 yards.
However, despite Georginio Wijnaldum’s miss costing his side, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will take positives from his side’s performance against last season’s league champions.
Just four minutes had passed when City created their first opportunity, but Leroy Sane could only fire into the side-netting after Sterling had dispossessed Joe Gomez on the edge of the area.
Liverpool hit back with Roberto Firmino firing a volley on the turn straight at Claudio Bravo, before Mohamed Salah failed to find the target with a first-time effort from 15 yards after more good play from Firmino.
City were dealt a blow in the 10th minute when Sane was forced off with what appeared to be a knee injury but despite momentarily having a man disadvantage, the Premier League champions took the lead.
Oleksandr Zinchenko’s header back across goal was helped on by Bernardo Silva, and Sterling was able to bundle the ball past Alisson from six yards out.
Opportunities continued to be created on a regular basis, with Salah firing wide from an acute angle at one end and Sterling seeing a shot from inside the area saved by Alisson at the other.
As both teams acknowledged that they needed to improve at the back, chances began to dry up, although Salah should have done better with a volley after a poor clearance from Zinchenko.
While the reminder of the opening 45 minutes passed by without incident, Pep Guardiola was cautioned by the referee for his unnecessary complaints after a 50-50 challenge between Gomez and David Silva.
City picked up where they left off after the restart as David Silva fizzed a half-volley over the crossbar, but Liverpool quickly got to grips with the pace of the game to cause their opponents more trouble.
The Champions League winners thought that they had equalised shortly before the hour mark when Virgil van Dijk’s volley beat Bravo and struck the underside of the crossbar, but replays indicated that only half of the ball had crossed the line.
Salah then struck the post with a 20-yard drive as Liverpool kept the pressure on their opponents, but City should have soon doubled their advantage on the break, only for Sterling to allow the ball to run through to Alisson.
Liverpool remained in the ascendancy with Salah seeing a low effort palmed away by Bravo, although Liverpool soon found a deserved equaliser when Joel Matip was on hand to power a header into the net from close range after meeting a Van Dijk cross.