Manchester City won the Community Shield on penalties after edging Liverpool in an entertaining game in front of a raucous Wembley.
Van Dijk – one of three Liverpool players nominated for the Fifa Best award last week – was unlucky not to equalise when his shot went over Bravo but hit the underside of the bar and bounced onto the line.
But the Dutchman did set up Matip’s equaliser after City failed to sufficiently clear Jordan Henderson’s free-kick.
Salah really should have won the game for Liverpool. One shot looped off Zinchenko and hit the roof of the net, before he took advantage of Rodri’s mistake only to be denied by Bravo.
And the big moment was when he had a shot saved by Bravo, but turned the rebound over the keeper into what appeared to be an empty net before the fantastic intervention of Walker.
On to penalties it went and Bravo’s save from Wijnaldum was the difference.
What can we read into the Community Shield?
It is probably foolhardy to draw too many conclusions into the game.
City and Liverpool produced one of the great title races last season, with Pep Guardiola’s side beating Klopp’s men by 98 points to 97.
Another great battle is expected, and there is no doubt this is now a big rivalry, a new ‘derby’ between two of Europe’s great sides.
Before the game there were the usual mind games by the managers, barbs about spending from Klopp that Guardiola did not appreciate.
Both clubs’ anthems – You’ll Never Walk Alone and Blue Moon – were passionately and deafeningly booed by the opposition fans.
Guardiola got so animated at giving instructions at one stage during a break in play that he came onto the pitch and was shown a yellow card, one of football’s new laws this summer.
But in terms of the football itself, many players were missing full fitness after shortened pre-seasons. The Copa America, Africa Cup of Nations and Uefa Nations League finals have all been this summer.
Sergio Aguero, Mane and Ederson were among the men who will come back into their respective teams. And fitness levels too will improve as the season goes on.
Man of the match – Claudio Bravo
‘No team can dominate for 90 minutes’
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on BT Sport: “An incredible final from both sides. No team can dominate for 90 minutes. We had real good moments. In the last 15 minutes we were exhausted and they had chances to win the game.
“It was a good test for both teams. It’s nice for the players to realise what they will face this season. At this level the difference is nothing. One penalty, one point.
“Manchester United will be back, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea… I don’t know what will happen.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on BT Sport: “Wow, it was a really good performance, a powerful one in the second half. Both teams had a similar pre-season. I spoke to Kevin de Bruyne after the game and we both said we don’t really know where we are yet.
“The least we deserved was the equaliser, one save decided it and I cannot be disappointed today. The performance was much more important than a win. We know we are still here, we can still play proper football.”
VVD finally beaten – the key stats
- Manchester City have won the Community Shield for a sixth time and are the first side to retain the trophy since Arsenal in August 2015.
- City are the first side to win the Community Shield having won both the Premier League and the FA Cup in the previous season since Arsenal in August 2002 (beating Liverpool 1-0).
- Including penalty shootout defeats, only Manchester United and Chelsea (nine each) have ended up on the losing side on more occasions in the Community Shield final than Liverpool (seven – level with Arsenal).
- In all competitions, Man City have won just two of their last 13 meetings with Liverpool (D4 L7), however they are unbeaten in their last three games against the Reds (W1 D2).
- Raheem Sterling’s opener for Manchester City was his first goal against his former side Liverpool in what was his 11th appearance against them across all competitions.
- Virgil van Dijk was dribbled past for the first time in his last 65 competitive appearances (by Gabriel Jesus) for Liverpool, since Mikel Merino did so for Newcastle in March 2018.