Manchester City claim pre-season glory at Wembley

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Manchester City claimed glory as Pep Guardiola’s side were crowned the 2019 FA Community Shield winners after securing a 2-1 victory over Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, winning 5-4 on penalties.

It proved to be a game of two halves as Manchester City were dominant during the first-half, and Liverpool really could’ve killed the game off in the final knockings.

TEAM NEWS

Manchester City: Bravo, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Sane, Bernardo, Sterling.

Substitutes: Ederson, Gundogan, Jesus, Aguero, Angelino, Foden, Garcia.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Origi, Salah, Firmino.

Substitutes: Mignolet, Lovren, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Shaqiri, Matip.

FIRST HALF

During a lively opening to proceedings, it was Pep Guardiola’s side that asserting their dominance early doors, and Leroy Sane almost opened the scoring on seven minutes as the German was put through expertly by Raheem Sterling, but watched his effort crash into the side netting.

Just four minutes later, City’s persistence and perseverance paid dividends as Kevin De Bruyne’s headed cross was flicked on by David Silva to set up Raheem Sterling, who was on hand to bury the ball through Alisson’s legs and into the net.

After making a positive impact early on, Leroy Sane was forced off the pitch through injury, and was replaced by Gabriel Jesus.

HALF-TIME

In a dominant 45-minute spell from Pep Guardiola’s side, Manchester City were ‘content’ with their display in the opening 45 minutes, but with such a slender advantage, Jurgen Klopp appeared positive despite his side’s ‘for showing’ in the opening stages.

SECOND HALF

Manchester City picked up ‘where they left off’ as the second-half got under way at Wembley, and they almost doubled their advantage as Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling broke the offside trap, which allowed Sterling the chance to bend an effort at goal, which rattled the post.

Liverpool created their first real opportunity of the match as Virgil van Dijk’s effort strikes off the crossbar, the Dutchman’s effort was mightily close to bouncing over the line, much to Manchester City’s relief.

On the hour mark, City came mightily close to doubling their lead once more as Raheem Sterling got caught in two minds as Alisson comfortably gathered the ball before Sterling could get his shot away. In the build-up, Kyle Walker did excellently to beat several Liverpool men to poke the ball through to Sterling.

With 13 minutes to spare, Liverpool salvaged a well-earned equaliser as Virgil van Dijk pumped the ball into the City penalty area expertly to set up Joel Matip, who headed the ball into the bottom right corner.

The momentum was firmly swinging in the direction of the Reds, and if any side were going to go on and score a winner then it would be Liverpool.

Mo Salah, on several occasions, found itself in and behind the Manchester City back line, but the Egyptian was rather ‘wasteful’ when it came to taking his chances. In stoppage time, the Egyptian was put in-on-goal, and his deflected effort was heading towards the net, until Kyle Walker produced a ‘sensational’ acrobatic clearance off the line to deny Salah a match-winning goal.

FULL TIME

After the shares were spoiled after 90-minutes, a penalty shoot-out loomed, and Liverpool were made to dwell on those missed opportunities in the second-half. Pep Guardiola’s side were ruthless from ‘the spot’ as they converted all five spot-kicks as Wijnaldum’s miss during Liverpool’s second spot-kick ended Liverpool’s hopes of bringing the FA Community Shield back to Merseyside.

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