Liverpool vs Manchester City Review: Community Shield 2022

Liverpool vs Manchester City Review: Community Shield 2022

Liverpool faced Manchester City in the Community Shield as the curtain raiser of the 2022/23 season. Klopp’s Reds defeated Chelsea in the FA Cup final on penalties, while City completed their Premier League triumph in that crazy game against Aston Villa on the last day of last season.

Liverpool certainly had more impetus to win the game & a point to prove going into the new season after losing out to City in last season’s closely fought Premier League title race.

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Match Review: Community Shield 2022/23

This game featured two of the biggest signings from this summer’s transfer window. Erling Haaland started for Manchester City while Liverpool’s record signing, Darwin Nunez, was named on the bench as Klopp picked Firmino to start for this game.

Liverpool started the game with a high tempo, and Manchester City were struggling to deal with Liverpool’s sharpness. Salah was Liverpool’s best player for the starting minutes, and a lot of Liverpool’s dangerous build-up play was centered around the Egyptian.

In the 21st minute, Liverpool got a deserved lead through Trent Alexander Arnold. Salah was played in by Thiago before he rolled the ball perfectly into Trent’s path, whose shot took a slight deflection on Ake’s head and went past Ederson.

Manchester City were second best at all aspects of the game except for slight periods in possession and struggled to bring Haaland into the game. At the start of the second half, Pep introduced Alvarez, City’s new signing, to increase the intensity and urgency of his side’s attack.

The Argentine’s movement changed the game massively, and Liverpool’s defence suddenly had something to worry about. Foden also came in for Grealish as last summer’s big signing for Aston Villa was still struggling to perform.

Manchester City equalized, and Alvarez’s striker’s instincts were on display when he pounced upon the loose ball in the Liverpool box to get his side back into the game. His runs were direct in-behind runs, but due to the way City play, Alvarez was not being picked out by any of the City’s midfielders.

However, Liverpool quickly regained their lead when Nunez’s header was blocked by Dias using his arm inside the City box. After an on-field review, Craig Pawson reversed his initial decision and awarded Liverpool a penalty which Salah stepped up and scored making it 2-1.

The game had the perfect finish for Liverpool fans as Darwin Nunez scored a late goal to confirm the win for the Reds. It was a brilliant move with youngster Fabio Carvalho at the heart of it. The former Fulham player played it into Salah, who chipped a delightful ball over to Robertson, whose header was then finished by Darwin Nunez.


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Why Was Haaland Ineffective Against Liverpool?

Manchester City, in possession, were set up in a 4-2-3-1 shape with De Bruyne playing behind Haaland. This strategy was implemented by Pep to get De Bruyne on the ball and release Haaland using his explosive runs in behind. However, it’s much harder to do it against Liverpool as compared to defences in the Bundesliga.

Liverpool were well prepared to deal with Haaland’s strengths. Jurgen Klopp clearly worked with his defense on the striker’s weaknesses as well. Haaland is not the most effective when there is a lack of space in behind the opposition. As a result, Liverpool minimized the space behind their backline and played a medium-block out of possession.

liverpool tactics vs man city community shield
Liverpool’s tactics to counter Erling Haaland’s runs & movement

As you can see in this picture, Van Dijk and Matip were tracking the Norweigien’s runs while that space was supposed to be exploited by De Bruyne. However, with a simple 3v3 in the midfield, it was easy for Liverpool to let City keep the ball without posing any threat.

If City had played without a striker, the false nine would have dropped deeper to create an overload and help City progress the ball effectively, but Haaland is never going to do that. As a result, both Haaland and City looked quite confused in possession, and it was easy for Liverpool to deal with City’s attacking play.

Going ahead, Pep will need to work on slightly altering his system to get the most out of Haaland. However, if this doesn’t happen soon, City could have a slow start to the season, and Liverpool could have a huge opportunity to create a gap between themselves and Pep’s defending champions.

What Did Jurgen Klopp Say About Nunez’s Performance?

Speaking after the game, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said, “It was good, it was really good. It is clear it will get better with time. We live in a world where everybody gets judged on first sight, and that’s not helpful for anybody, but it happens constantly.”

“In the first few games (of pre-season) we were not even close to the fitness level of today, and then when (Nunez) came on, we passed each ball for him to chase it, and after the third ball, he was completely killed, and then everybody judged his first touches and these kind of things. It’s just a joke, but we have to live with that, he will deal with it brilliantly. We are patient, and we know he can do good stuff.”

“We all know they are a special species, strikers. The other thing everybody needs (are) little positives. That means goals or goal involvements.”

“I think Darwin would have been fine even without scoring the third one because the penalty was Millie’s cross and his header. The chance he had before, he did really well, but Ederson reacted brilliantly. The goal was obviously the icing on the cake, so really pleased for him.”

“You could see in his face, you could see in the face of all his team-mates how happy the boys are for him, and that’s a really good sign after that short period of time that he is with us.”

What Did Pep Guardiola Say About Haaland?

Man City boss Pep Guardiola also had his say after the game. Speaking about Haaland, Guardiola said: “(Haaland) had chances, two or three in the first half, and one in the end, and always is there.”

Of Haaland’s glaring late miss, he added: “He is strong, another time, he will put it in the net. It happened. It is football. He was there.”

“He had another goal disallowed because the ball was over the line. He fought a lot and made the movements. It is good for him to see the reality of a new country and new league. He was there, but today he didn’t score, and another day he will score. He has an incredible quality, and he will do it.”

“He has had just two weeks, two weeks and a half, and I am really comfortable with what we are seeing since we arrived this season.”

“I am not absolutely concerned. The reality is we have two or three months ahead of us. He is going to help us.”

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