LEICESTER: Liverpool new boy Darwin Nunez struck first blood in the duel of star summer signings with with Liverpool’s final goal in a 3-1 win over Manchester City in the FA Community Shield.

The season’s traditional curtain-raiser was played at Leicester became Wembley hosts this weekend’s UEFA Women’s Euro final between England and Germany.

Liverpool’s latest trophy

City, last season’s Premier League champions, and Liverpool, the FA and League Cup winners, both paraded their big-money acquisitions at the King Power Stadium but it was the Uruguay international who upstaged City’s Erling Haaland.

Nunez came off the bench in the 59th minute with the score at 1-1 and his aerial presence won the late penalty from which Mohamed Salah put Liverpool in front for a second time.

The former Benfica striker, having earlier been denied a goal by City goalkeeper Ederson, was not finished there and stooped to head home his first for the Reds in domestic competition in added time.

One new City signing did make his mark – the £14m former River Plate forward Julian Alvarez climbing off the bench to cancel out Trent Alexander-Arnold’s opener – but Haaland missed a late chance of an open goal.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp was full of praise for Nunez after the match.
He said: “I think Darwin would have been fine even without scoring the third one because the penalty was James Milner’s cross and his header. 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.
“Probably one of the highlights of the game, as good as we were, was the impact from the bench. Everybody who came on was immediately in the game – very, very, very helpful.”
City manager Pep Guardiola said Liverpool started better, but his team created enough chances to win.
Guardiola added: “Congratulations to Liverpool. The first 15 to 20 minutes they were better. After we got our game, and it was quite similar the last 25 minutes, we arrived when they left space and tried to attack.
“We have to improve. The timing is not much what we have to do, especially the fact we need this month training and games to get our tempo and we will do it.”
Guardiola was confident Haaland would score soon.
He said: “Erling fought a lot and made the movements. It’s good for him to see the reality of the new country, new league. He was there. Today he didn’t score – another day he will score.”

# # # #