Jesus, Bravo and Walker win Community Shield for Man City in epic
Manchester City were crowned champions of the Community Shield after a fantastic match versus Liverpool at Wembley. Jurgen Klopp's side can consider themselves unfortunate not to win the match as City held on for dear life in the last 20 minutes of the second half.
It was a typical game of two halves as Man City were dominant in the first half and looked much sharper than their opponents. In the fourth minute, Sane hit the side netting after Joe Gomez was dispossessed by Raheem Sterling in his own half, but Liverpool then hit back as Firmino hit at Bravo after a nice control with his foot and then Salah hit wide in the 8th minute after City lost the ball while trying to play out from the back. That was one of few chances for them in the first half though.
Leroy Sane then had to go off injured after his twisted his right knee and before they could bring Jesus on in the 13th minute, City hit the front. A free-kick was taken short before Zinchenko headed the ball in across goal, David Silva flicked it on for Sterling to beat Alisson from point-blank range. Alisson could not get his feet sorted and City drew first blood.
Salah then hit the post after beating Zinchenko from a long punt, but Sterling almost doubled City's lead after being played in by De Bruyne. City were in complete control for the rest of the half and Liverpool hardly threatened their goal apart from one Salah effort just before the half-hour. There was one flashpoint five minutes before half-time when Gomez's terrible challenge on David Silva went unpunished, but City's half-time lead was well deserved.
After the break, it was frenetic and end to end. David Silva hit over after Sterling beat Alexander-Arnold down the near side and then Origi saw his shot deflected to Bravo after Firmino won the ball. In the 48th minute, Sterling then missed a glaring opportunity after being played in by David Silva, but he hit the upright. The VAR may well have taken it away though.
12 minutes into the second half, Van Dijk was denied by the crossbar after he struck a sweet strike from a corner. The ball bounced partially over the line, but not fully so the goal was not given and straight afterwards, Salah hit the post again.
City were still getting chances on the counter though and Sterling missed an even better chance to kill off the game. Gundogan played a superb ball to him and instead of shooting, he kept on dribbling before stumbling in front of Alisson. Mo Salah was then denied by Claudio Bravo who got a rare start in goal before De Bruyne tested Alisson after a nice one-two with Sterling.
Just as it looked like Liverpool would run out of time, Matip made it 1-1 in the 77th minute. The free-kick was delivered in, Walker touched it with his head, but only to Van Dijk who controlled with his chest before crossing to Matip to tap home. Liverpool then made a triple sub and one of those, Lalllana, played in Keita in the 82nd minute, but Bravo was in fine form. Salah then tested Bravo twice more, the second of them after Rodrigo was dispossessed close to his goal and then, just after De Bruyne went off injured, came the save of the match.
Salah was through on goal, but his shot was blocked by Stones and then the Egyptian headed the rebound towards goal. Everyone thought it was a goal until Kyle Walker made a tremendous run back to almost bicycle kick it off the line and over the bar. It was an outstanding save and Lallana, Salah and Shaqiri still had time to combine for one last opportunity right at the death. However, Bravo denied Shaqiri once again and it went to penalties.
Shaqiri and Gundogan both sent the keepers the wrong way, but Wijnaldum saw his woeful penalty saved by Bravo as it was not in a corner or in the middle and it was at a good height for him. Bernardo Silva, Foden and Zinchenko all converted for City, although Zinchenko's effort burst through Alisson's hands to leave Salah having to score. He did despite Bravo almost stopping it, but it was to no avail and Jesus hit a top penalty to beat Alisson who went the right way.
Although Guardiola will be happy with the trophy, there is no doubt Klopp will be happier with his team's performance as it was much improved compared to previous matches. City know they will be in another very tough title race this season when the Premier League gets underway next weekend.