Football Features

“Yeah, he’s good” – Player ratings as Darwin delivers to lead Liverpool to 3-1 Community Shield win over Man City

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:38, 30 July 2022

In a fun evening of football, Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1 to claim the Community Shield.

The victory ensures that Jurgen Klopp has now won every single domestic top-flight trophy available.

Here’s how the players rated at the King Power Stadium:

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Manchester City

Ederson – 7 – Played really well in general, commanding his area and stopping Darwin 1-v-1. Could do nothing about either Liverpool goal.

Kyle Walker – 5 – Really poor with the ball and while he was mostly ok defensively he lost Robertson for Liverpool’s third.

Ruben Dias – 6 – Was playing well until he gave away a penalty with a sloppy bit of play late on. Lost Darwin for the third too.

Nathan Aké – 7 – Solid. Unfortunately deflected Alexander-Arnold’s shot into his own net but the touch was slight.

Joao Cancelo – 7 – Struggled with Salah early on but recovered to really be one of City’s better attacking threats, driving the ball forward.

Rodri – 6 – Looked a little leggy. Some good passes but tired quickly and struggled to handle the pace of the game.

Bernardo Silva – 7 – Missed an assist in the first-half by passing to De Bruyne instead of Haaland, but still played well. Carried the ball well, pressed superbly and started several City attacks with his probing passes.

Kevin De Bruyne – 6 – Well below par in his passing. The movement was as bright as ever but his use of the ball, especially in terms of finding Haaland, wasn’t quite as solid as it needs to be. Still, produced one peach of a cross that led to City’s equaliser.

Riyad Mahrez – 5 – Really poor. Showed for the ball a lot but did very little with it and had no dribbling or driving.

Jack Grealish – 4 – Somehow worse than Mahrez. Just did not look good at all.

Erling Haaland – 5 – Phenomenal movement, constantly arcing in behind Liverpool’s defence but just wasn’t being found by his team-mates. Missed a great chance that he conjured through sheer physical power, but also blazed missed two sitters – one in each half – with uncharacteristically sloppy finishes.

Short-term it’s obviously not the best performance, but he wasn’t bad and the seeds for greatness are obviously there. Liverpool are the best defence he’ll face, maybe in all of Europe, and on another day he could have walked away with a hat-trick and that’s ignoring the three stick-on assists that City missed by not passing to him!

Make your jokes for now, but keep an eye out for the future.

Manchester City Substitutes:

Phil Foden (for Grealish 58′) – 7 – Phil Foden is That Guy. His introduction sparked City to life and he showed some much drive and personality. Grealish and Mahrez better watch out because Foden is coming for a starting spot.

Julian Alvarez (for Mahrez 58′) – 7 – Looked really bright. His movement off Haaland was dangerous and he bagged a poacher’s equaliser for City. Probably not a right-winger but City will be glad he got off the mark.

Ilkay Gundogan (for De Bruyne 74′) – 6 – Mixed it up nicely.

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Adrian – 6 – Fumbled his way to a few saves and played reasonably well without ever looking especially good. Still, now he joins Alisson and Kelleher on Liverpool’s Wall of Champions.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7 – Got cooked defensively a few times, especially by Joao Cancelo, but opened the scoring with a delightful drive from the edge of the box and played some nice passes besides.

Joel Matip – 7 – Held Liverpool’s offside line well and dealt with Grealish whenever he came infield. Couldn’t handle Haaland’s movement but, hey, who can?

Virgil van Dijk – 7 – Another top notch outing for Van Dijk. His clashes with Haaland were sporadic but satisfying as he went blow-for-blow with City’s new Norwegian.

Andrew Robertson – 8 – Put Riyad Mahrez in his back pocket and didn’t let him out. Also attacked with vigor and set-up Darwin’s debut goal with a powerful back-post header.

Fabinho – 7 – Calm and composed in the face of City’s usual midfield merry-go-round.

Jordan Henderson – 7 – Shouted a bunch and kept everyone focused. A true captain who can still play himself with his powerful defensive effort and some surging forward runs.

Thiago – 8 – Delightfully brilliant. The best player on the pitch. Tackled, tracked, turned, passed, probed. Just everything you’d want from a midfielder besides scoring an actual goal. He exudes class and skill and Pep Guardiola may be wishing he’d have called Bayern instead of letting Liverpool have a free run at him.

Mohamed Salah – 8 – Was electric from the off. His runs were sharp and he was decisive in every Liverpool goal. Got the assist for the opener, scored the second with a nerveless spot-kick and then his cross set-up the third.

Luis Diaz – 7 – A pressing machine and a delightful dribbler. Full of so much pace and directness of action that he unsettles defenders.

Roberto Firmino – 6 – The only Liverpool player to disappoint. Firmino is very much yesterday’s man.

Liverpool Substitutes:

Darwin Nunez (for Firmino 59′) – 7 – Missed a sitter, accidentally won a penalty (with a truly terrible headed shot) and scored a lovely stooping header. Darwin Nunez very definitely got involved and Liverpool knew how to get their big man in on the action. Expect a lot of goals to come this season.

“Yeah, he’s good,” was Jurgen Klopp’s very simple evaluation of his new Uruguayan.

James Milner (for Henderson 74′) – 7 – He has a beard! 7/10 for that alone.

Harvey Elliott (for Alexander-Arnold 74′) – 6 – Looked bright.

Naby Keita (for Thiago 85′) – n/a – Came on late.

Fabio Carvalho (for Luis Diaz 90′) – n/a – Came on late.

Curtis Jones (for Salah 90’+5) – n/a – Came on late.