Manchester City have won back-to-back FA Community Shields with a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Liverpool after the sides drew 1-1 in regulation time.
It took Pep Guardiola’s side just 12 minutes to break the deadlock with Raheem Sterling notching the ball past Alisson from just a few yards out, but the Champions League winners refused to yield and equalised in the 78th minute courtesy of a towering header from substitute Joel Matip.
With the scores level in regulation time, the 2019 instalment of English football’s annual ‘Super Cup’ headed for a penalty shootout, with City clinching the curtain raising silverware after an epic 5-4 win.
It was an intense encounter between last season’s two titan clubs, but how did the players rate?
Alisson Becker – 6 – Unlucky to concede the opening goal as Sterling poked home unmarked in the opening minutes, but composed himself after that and looked at home between the sticks.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5 – Had a torrid afternoon defensively as Sterling consistently found ample room behind him. Improved going forward in the second half but didn’t perform to his usual standard.
Joe Gomez – 6 – Another who initially struggled to keep City’s insatiable attack quiet as the Reds’ high-line proved ineffective, but the England international grew into the game and adjusted well to switch to a full-back role.
Virgil van Dijk – 7 – Like Gomez, he also had a few teething problems in trying to catch City out with a high-line, but the Netherlands international asserted more of an iron grip after the restart, was desperately unlucky not to score and provided an excellent assist for the equalising goal.
Andrew Robertson – 6 – Attacked with his typical aplomb and provided an excellent contest with Silva on the left touchline. This was not the Scot’s most formidable performance, but he looked assured out wide nonetheless.
Jordan Henderson – 6 – Chased shadows in the opening 45 minutes, but entered the second half with far more enthusiasm and proved to be one of Liverpool’s more influential midfielders.
Fabinho – 6 – It took a while for Liverpool’s midfield to get up to City’s speed, but once they did Fabinho was as composed as ever and unfortunate to come off early in the second half as Klopp opted for more intensity.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 5 – Had the fewest touches of any player to have started the match in the first half, and while the Dutchman upped the ante after the restart, it took far too long before he began to illustrate his usual midfield dynamism and he also missed the decisive penalty.
Mohamed Salah – 8 – As expected, the Egyptian was Liverpool’s biggest threat, running hither and thither down the line, hitting the woodwork twice and causing Oleksandr Zinchenko serious issues.
Mohamed Salah had more shots than the entire Man City team combined (8) in the #CommunityShield.
• 10 shots
• 4 on target
• 2 against the woodwork
• 1 off the line
So unlucky not to find the back of the net. pic.twitter.com/xOx5LS1Jgo
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 4, 2019
Divock Origi – 6 – Had a few positive moments but struggled to really assert his authority on the wing, though he did improve – like most of Liverpool’s players – after the break.
Roberto Firmino – 7 – Spearheaded the attack excellently when Liverpool were in possession, bringing his teammates into play while consistently applying pressure when City tried to play out from the back.
Joel Matip (for Alexander-Arnold 66) – 7 – Came on in the second half and made an immediate impact, scoring the equalising goal with only 12 minutes to go.
Naby Keita (for Fabinho 66) – 6 – Brought more intensity to proceedings and didn’t look like he had just returned from a long-term injury.
Xherdan Shaqiri (for Firmino 79) – 6 – Produced a few moments of quality and nearly scored in the closing stages.
Adam Lallana (for Henderson 79) – 6 – Like Shaqiri, looked slick upon entering the fray but not really enough time to influence proceedings.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (for Origi 79) – 6 – Simply not enough time to really make a significant impact, but he, Lallana and Shaqiri all netted in the shootout.
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Claudio Bravo – 8 – Commanded his box well, but really drew widespread attention for his expert distribution, looking exceptionally comfortable on the ball and playing a number of excellent long-range passes to Sterling on the left, while also saving in the shootout.
Kyle Walker – 7 – A comfortable performance from the England right-back turned exceptional courtesy of his world-class athletic clearance in the dying embers. He largely kept Origi quiet and looked to get forward in his typically buccaneering fashion.
John Stones – 6 – Tried to play out from the back at every given opportunity, and while there were a few misplaced passes, he proved a fluid component of Guardiola’s backline without really thriving.
Nicolás Otamendi – 6 – Defensively the Argentine was having a solid match, but Matip evaded him for the equalising goal and he nearly cost his side the match in regulation time when he lost possession to Salah.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6 – Susceptible at the back at times, but that is certainly not a major alarm as he was tasked with the ominous job of man-marking Salah. He stood up to the challenge well at times, but the Egyptian ultimately enjoyed a fair share of success on the flank.
Kevin De Bruyne – 7 – The Belgian’s deep-lying runs behind Liverpool’s defence were causing Van Dijk and Gomez a myriad of problems in the first half. He looked slick and while his influence waned towards the latter stages of the match, this was an encouraging performance from a man who missed so much of last season.
Rodri – 7 – Looked comfortable playing the Fernandinho role, save from a few hesitant moments, but once he got going the Spaniard looked every part a Guardiola player.
David Silva – 7 – A real livewire surging forward, the diminutive playmaker flicked on the decisive ball for Sterling’s opener and continued to cause the Reds problems in that tight space between midfield and defence.
Bernardo Silva – 7 – Took up his habitual position on the right flank and gave Robertson plenty of food for thought with his jinking runs and shimmies on the byline.
Raheem Sterling has scored against Liverpool in any competition for the first time in his career.
Starting the new season as he finished the last. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/NrUx0PZRdb
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 4, 2019
Leroy Sane – N/A – Started brightly with some hurtling runs down the left flank, but was forced off with only 10 minutes on the clock.
Raheem Sterling – 8 – A consistent thorn in Liverpool’s backside, the England international has immediately picked up from where he left of from last term, looking deadly in the No.9 role, before flourishing when pushed out wide.
Gabriel Jesus (for Sane 12) – 5 – Came on instead of Sergio Aguero when Sane got injured and initially started brightly, but struggled in the second half as Van Dijk and Gomez took hold of Liverpool’s third of the pitch.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 4, 2019
Ilkay Gundogan (for Silva 59) – 6 – A few jittery moments, but also so composed play as Liverpool really began to ramp up the pressure upon the German’s introduction.
Phil Foden (for De Bruyne 89) – N/A – Came on with only a few minutes to go. Both he and Gundogan scored their penalties.