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Player ratings: Liverpool v Man City

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LONDON — Manchester City beat Liverpool 5-4 on penalty kicks to win the Community Shield, after an intense game between the Premier League’s top two teams from last season.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned

How did the players get on, out of 10?

Below we reveal our ratings from Wembley.


Liverpool

Alisson: 5 – Could have done better with Sterling’s goal and looked a little shaky.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6 – Rattled into some challenges but far from his usual marauding display.

Joe Gomez: 5 – Caught in possession a few times at center back and them moved out to right back.

Virgil Van Dijk: 7 – Stood tall and set up the equalizer. Classy player who grew into the game.

Andrew Robertson: 6 – Given a tough time by Bernardo Silva, but stood up to the challenge.

Jordan Henderson: 5 – Struggled to get going and took a knock in the second half.

Fabinho: 5 – Couldn’t stop City gliding through Liverpool’s defense.

Georginio Wijnaldum: 5 – Really struggled. Few loose touches and only player to miss a penalty.

Mohamed Salah: 7 – Could have scored three in the second half alone. Dangerous but didn’t score.

Roberto Firmino: 6 – One superb effort in the first half and decent movement, as always.

Divock Origi: 4 – His teammates couldn’t find his runs out wide. Ineffective.

Subs
Joel Matip on for Trent Alexander-Arnold (67′): 7 – Headed home the equalizer.
Naby Keita on for Fabinho (67′): 6 – Provided some surging runs. Good shot saved.
Adam Lallana on for Jordan Henderson (79′): N/A
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on for Divock Origi (79′): N/A
Xherdan Shaqiri on for Roberto Firmino (79′): N/A


Man City

Claudio Bravo: 7 – A few dodgy moments in the second half but saved the crucial spot kick. A very good back-up goalkeeper.

Kyle Walker: 6 – Dug deep defensively but rarely threatened going forward.

John Stones: 7 – Calm on the ball and did his best to hold City’s defense together.

Nicolas Otamendi: 6 – Dragged out of position quite a lot but made some great last-ditch interventions.

Oleksandr Zinchenko: 6 – Tough outing against Salah but kept plugging away. Scored his pen.

Rodri: 5 – Caught on the ball so many times. Has to get use to the pace of the game in England. Fast.

David Silva: 7 – Proper magician. Glides around the pitch with ease and set up Sterling’s goal.

Kevin De Bruyne: 8 – Constant threat, even though his final pass or shot was a little off.

Leroy Sane: 4 – Injured early on, which is a big shame. Last minutes in a Man City shirt?

Raheem Sterling: 8 – Scored one, but should have scored a few more. Superb pace, but poor finishing.

Bernando Silva: 7 – Another classy and tireless display. Criminally underrated.

Subs
Gabriel Jesus on for Leroy Sane (14′): 6 – Scored the winning penalty kick and put himself about.
Ilkay Gundogan on for David Silva (61′): 3 – One of the worst sub displays ever. Gave the ball away countless times. Scored his penalty kick though.
Phil Foden on for Kevin de Bruyne (89′): N/A

Three things learned: Liverpool v Man City

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LONDON — Manchester City beat Liverpool 5-4 on penalty kicks to win the 2019 FA Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.  

After a 1-1 draw thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and Joel Matip in either half, the game went to spot kicks and Claudio Bravo saved Georginio Wijnadlum’s penalty as City scored all five of theirs.

[ MORE: Player ratings | Recap ]

Man City and Liverpool finished just one point apart in the Premier League table last season and it went all the way to decide the winner of the Community Shield. Despite shaking off rust amid key absentees due to stars returning late from summer tournaments, City and Liverpool put on a show at Wembley.

It was an intense, high-tempo encounter which can’t often be said of this showpiece event.

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp played up the importance of this game beforehand and their players obviously took those words to heart.

What did we learn from the traditional “curtain raiser” at Wembley?


Teams evenly matched, wasteful

On another day the score could have been 4-3 or 3-2. Both teams were guilty of being wasteful in the final third and some of their attacking stars were perhaps blowing away a few cobwebs.

Mohamed Salah missed two glorious opportunities in the first half alone. Virgil Van Dijk and Salah hit the woodwork in the second half. Kyle Walker incredibly hooked Salah’s shot off the line, while Sterling probably should’ve scored another two given the quality of his chances. Kevin De Bruyne‘s final ball and passes were a little off, while there was a general sense of frustration among both Guardiola and Klopp on the sidelines.

They know the way their teams played and the result of the Community Shield is not going to determine how this season goes for them. But the game was of high intensity and was also pretty adept at underlining the weaknesses both teams have. In the second half the end-to-end nature of the game was farcical, as you could be forgiven for thinking the latest NBA game had rolled into London.

This performance suggested two things:

1) There is still so little to choose between Liverpool and Man City.

2) Liverpool are a different team without one of their front three of Mane, Firmino and Salah up top, and so too are Man City without Sergio Aguero in their starting lineup.


Rusty Liverpool shaking off poor preseason

Not having six first team stars with Liverpool for the majority of preseason was far from ideal. And they do not appear to have dealt that well with it. At all. Salah, Firmino and Alisson returned this week after playing in the Africa Cup of Nations and Copa America, while Sadio Mane will return next week. With Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri only just returning from injury too, Liverpool’s squad looks a little thin on the ground.

In the first half Man City overran them in central midfield but much to their credit Liverpool came roaring back in the second half and deserved to draw 1-1 in regulation. Salah led wave after wave of attack and even though it is clear Liverpool aren’t fully fit, it appears the rust from a disjointed preseason is falling off a little quicker than most expected.

Klopp will be hoping that the late returning stars give the rest of the squad a much-needed kick up the backside in the next few days before they face Norwich City in the PL season opener on Friday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The lack of a central midfielder who can dictate the tempo of the game and create openings is perhaps what they miss most if they’re going to truly push Man City all the way for the title once again this season. Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum are all workhorses and should be admired for how they press high and win the ball back for Salah, Firmino and Mane to cause havoc. It works. But having a player like David or Bernando Silva, someone who can slow things down and float around behind the strikers is something Liverpool have been calling out for.


Left side of City’s defense needs a revamp

True, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold were the men marauding down the right flank for Liverpool but Oleksandr Zinchenko and Nicolas Otamendi didn’t half make them look good.

Granted, Aymeric Laporte will likely line up alongside John Stones in central defense this season, but it may be worth playing Laporte at left back based on this. Especially with influential leader Vincent Kompany departing. Do not underestimate his absence this season. As this game wore on Otamendi found his stride and Zinchenko kept plugging away too, but if there is any area City’s squad needs strengthening in it is at left back and center back. That is so obvious.

Zinchenko is doing the best he can as a makeshift left back but with Benjamin Mendy still out injured and Fabian Delph sold over the summer, City’s options at left back aren’t plentiful. With Joao Cancelo coming in at right back to battle with Kyle Walker, it is a little bemusing why City aren’t making a big play to sign a left back or center back this summer.

Teams will look to exploit that wing based on this showing. Yes, this was Liverpool shredding their left flank apart, but plenty of the PL’s other top six teams are capable of exploiting this weakness.

Klopp explains poor preseason; stars set to return

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Jurgen Klopp was not a happy bunny when speaking to reporters on Monday.

“Have we had the best preseason of our lives? I cannot say that with the results but the sessions were really good.”

Liverpool’s boss bristled when a journalist the FA Community Shield was called a “curtain-raiser” for the new season, as a poor preseason seems to be annoying the German coach a little.

Following a 3-0 defeat to Napoli in Edinburgh on Sunday, Liverpool have now lost three of their four marquee preseason friendlies with defeats against Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla and a draw against Sporting Lisbon in the USA. They’ve conceded 10 goals in those four games.

Klopp explained why the European champions have been struggling this summer, and the reasons are rather obvious on the face of things.

“I don’t want to find excuses before we play City. But we had a completely different preseason,” Klopp said. “We played without six players and to say this must be the statement for us would be completely mad.

“Good results in the pre-season help to build confidence but that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is that you build the physical skills for a long, long season because we have to, pretty much, prepare only for the games. There’s not a lot of time to train.”

Klopp then went on to call Liverpool’s week in Evian, France as their “most important of the season” as stars return and the preparation all comes together.

“We had to do intense sessions in the first three weeks. We played the games in different circumstances,” Klopp said. “It’s always been clear Evian would be the most important week of the season, and we have five days after City before Norwich.”

Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane were involved in the Africa Cup of Nations, as the latter will return to Liverpool the week the season starts on Aug. 5. Alisson and Fabinho played for Brazil this summer in their Copa America success, while Xherdan Shaqiri has been struggling with an injury.

Given all of that, Klopp seemed a little concerned that his side could get a bit of a spanking against City on Sunday.

“It is a good test of the things that are there [in place]. We have to defend in a good way, because if you don’t defend well against City, we can get a proper knock,” Klopp added.

As for Man City, they have been without Sergio Aguero, Ederson, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez and Fernandinho throughout preseason, as Pep Guardiola‘s men will go into Sunday’s traditional curtain-raiser (sorry, Jurgen…) as the favorites.

Liverpool’s squad is able to cope with some key absentees, as we saw that last season when Divock Origi, Shaqiri and Joe Gomez stepped in when needed. But with only two teenagers signed this summer (Harvey Elliott and Sepp van den Berg), is Klopp feeling the pressure to compete with City’s incredible squad depth?

With Salah, Mane, Firmino and Alisson only just arriving back in England after a long summer of tournaments, if you’re playing Liverpool early in the Premier League season you’ll probably be quite happy about that. But long-term, Liverpool will be just fine. A summer of not having superstars around is far from ideal, but the aforementioned names will soon get back up to speed and dominate PL games.

Below is Liverpool’s full squad for their week training in Evian, France before they play Man City on Sunday in the Community Shield.

Liverpool squad: Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, Brewster, Duncan, Elliott, Fabinho, Firmino, Gomez, Henderson, Hoever, Keita, Lallana, Larouci, Lewis, Lonergan, Lovren, Matip, Mignolet, Milner, Ojrzynski, Origi, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Robertson, Salah, Shaqiri, Van den Berg, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Wilson.

Player ratings: Arsenal v. Chelsea in Community Shield

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LONDON — Arsenal beat Chelsea on penalty kicks at Wembley on Sunday to win the Community Shield and clinch the first piece of silverware this season.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Arsene Wenger and Arsenal prevailed once again at Wembley with Saed Kolasinac popping up with a late equalizer and then Olivier Giroud scoring the winning penalty kick as the Gunners were perfect from the spot.

Below are the ratings out of 10 for each player who saw the field on Sunday as Arsenal beat their London rivals in an open, entertaining clash.


Arsenal

Petr Cech – 6 – Some slack passes which put his defense under pressure. Didn’t have much to do apart from that
Rob Holding – 7 – Another composed display from the young Englishman. Gets better each and every game
Per Mertesacker – 6 – Started well but forced off with a nasty head injury
Nacho Monreal – 7 – Solid enough in defense, especially when he switched to be the middle center back
Hector Bellerin – 6 – Added attacking prowess from right wing back and solid in defense despite some sloppy passes
Mohamed Elneny – 6 – Was fouled by Pedro for his red card and kept plugging away. Not his best display
Granit Xhaka – 7 – A growing influence in Arsenal’s midfield and forced Courtois into a stunning save
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7 – Whipped in some great crosses from left wing back, a role
Danny Welbeck – 8 – Full of running and was unlucky not to get a clear look at goal. Great link up play
Alex Iwobi – 6 – Some great trickery in the first half but faded in the second half
Alexandre Lacazette – 8 – Fine display as he hit the post, caused Chelsea plenty of issues and linked up superbly with Welbeck

Subs
Sead Kolasinac – 8 – Surging runs forward from left side of Arsenal’s defense and popped up with a vital equalizer. Great debut and looks a bargain
Theo Walcott (on for Iwobi, 67′) – 6 – Launched some counters and his pace always provides problems
Olivier Giroud (on for Lacazette, 66′) – 6 – Provided a presence up top and scored the winning PK
Reiss Nelson (on for Welbeck, 87′) – N/A – A few decent touches but hardly had time to get involved


Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois – 6 – Some shaky touches and clearances and despite his PK miss in the shootout made a world-class save from Xhaka
Cesar Azpilicueta – 5 – Uncharacteristically shaky display. Booked for hauling down Welbeck in the first half and struggled
David Luiz – 6 – Was cool and calm, sometimes too much as he put his defense under pressure. Solid enough display
Gary Cahill – 6 – Great header to set up Moses and was in the wars after clattering Mertesacker, then his teammate Luiz. Great PK in penalty kicks
Victor Moses – 6 – Lovely finish for the goal but
Cesc Fabregas – 5 – Failed to really get a grip on the game and was bullied at times by Xhaka and Elneny
N'Golo Kante – 7 – Chelsea’s standout player, once again, as he launched counter attacks time and time again. Superb
Marcos Alonso – 5 – Caught early on by Bellerin and was subbed in second half. Some wild crosses and caught out in defense
Willian – 6 – Always lively on the ball but the final cross or pass was lacking at times. Typical speedy pest
Michy Batshuayi – 5 – Isolated for most of this game and failed to improve his chances of becoming a regular
Pedro – 5 – Really silly sending off to put his team under pressure but caused Arsenal problems in first half

Subs
Alvaro Morata (on for Batshuayi, 74′) – 6 – Missed one chance at the back post and
Antonio Rudiger (on for Alonso, 72′) – 5 – Difficult to come on at that time and has his back against the wall
Charly Musonda (on for Willian, 82′) – N/A – Had little time to get on the ball

Three things we learned from Arsenal, Chelsea

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LONDON — Arsenal beat Chelsea on penalty kicks at Wembley on Sunday to clinch the FA Community Shield in the curtain-raiser for the 2017-18 season.

Victor Moses‘ goal less than a minute into the second half put Chelsea ahead but Arsenal equalized late on with Sead Kolasinac heading home moments after Pedro was sent off for Chelsea.

The game went straight to penalty kicks, using the new ABBA system, after it ended 1-1 in normal time and Arsenal scored all four of their penalty kicks with Thibaut Courtois smashing over and Alvaro Morata scuffing wide for Chelsea.

Arsenal impressed for plenty of the game as new signing Alexandre Lacazette hit the post and Danny Welbeck also caused plenty of problems.

In the end Arsene Wenger got the better of Antonio Conte once again as Arsenal picked up the first piece of silverware of the season and beat Chelsea at Wembley just like they did in May to win the FA Cup.

Here’s what we learned from Wembley on a sunny Sunday less than a week before the new Premier League season begins.


LACAZETTE, WELBECK PROMISE PLENTY

Without Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in their squad, you could forgive Arsenal for looking lackluster in attack. That wasn’t the case.

New club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette displayed enough energy, ability to find pockets of space and ingenuity to suggest the $68.7 million Arsenal paid for Lyon is money well spent.

Lacazette know as “La Gachette” or the Trigger in France sparked a wonderful counter attack in the 22nd minute, spinning away from his marker to link up with Hector Bellerin and then Danny Welbeck in a sweeping move from right to left which ended with Lacazette composing himself before sending a curled effort which cannoned off the post and out. You could be forgiven for thinking a former French international striker was back on the pitch for the Gunners.

Thierry Henry comparisons aside, Lacazette, 26, is in his prime and appears to be exactly what Arsenal have needed ever since Robin Van Persie departed in 2012. He is more than just a pure finisher with plenty of tracking back and dropping deep to get on the ball, cutting in from wide positions, but “Trigger” also had a wiling runner alongside him in Welbeck who he could link up with and he also provided Chelsea plenty of problems with his runs in-behind.

In a summer dominated by the future’s of Sanchez and Ozil, Arsene Wenger may well have found his new strike partnership mid all the fuss. With Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott all able to play centrally too, the Gunners have plenty of fine attacking options heading into the season. On this showing Lacazette and Welbeck may provide the best balance with Ozil and Sanchez battling for places to support them. Of course they’ll both play, but adding them to the starting lineup and keeping the balance of their attack will be an intriguing dilemma for Wenger.

With Shkodran Mustafi, Sanchez, Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere to come into this team, the Gunners’ squad is looking incredibly strong. With Kolasinac jumping off the bench to head home a late equalizer they have another solid option in defense too and since switching to a 3-4-3 formation seem more sturdy and have a knack of digging out results.

Maybe, just maybe, Arsenal will surprise plenty this season with a squad big enough to have two different teams in the PL and the Europa League. Expectations are perhaps lower than ever among Arsenal’s fans which is a strange thing, but maybe it will help them flourish.


CHELSEA SLUGGISH

For most of the first half Chelsea struggled to connect passes, put themselves under pressure in defense and took loose touches in the final third. Antonio Conte’s lacked sharpness in the first half but soon came alive in the second with Moses gambling off Gary Cahill‘s flick to finish well.

That woke Chelsea up and just as we saw last season when opponents pushed hard to get back into the game, Chelsea began to pick Arsenal off on the counter with N'Golo Kante running the counters from midfield.

Overall it was a groggy display and far from vintage as Chelsea missed the creative spark of the injured Eden Hazard and the guile of soon to depart Diego Costa. For much of preseason that’s been the case for Conte’s side with new signings Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata not starting on Sunday at Wembley.

Bakayoko is working his way back to full fitness, while Rudiger and Morata are slotting in after arriving late in preseason. With Bakayoko, Morata and Hazard all likely to become starters in this team, Conte knows his Chelsea side a month from now will be very different to the one which recovered from a sluggish start at Wembley on Sunday. They were perhaps aided by Per Mertesacker‘s head injury which forced Arsenal into a defensive reshuffle, but as they game wore on you could see their ruthless streak returning.

Then came a minute of madness as Pedro received a straight red card and they then switched off to allow Kolasniac to head home from a set piece situation, something which hurt the Blues during their title-winning campaign. Courtois and Morata then missed their penalty kicks with more lapses of concentration which will leave Conte wide-awake for a few nights ahead of the new season.

The reigning champs can’t afford to start the season as sluggishly as they started, and finished, the Community Shield.


MORATA’S ABSENCE TELLING

In the week Antonio Conte revealed that Alvaro Morata, Chelsea’s club-record signing who is supposed to deliver the goals lost from Diego Costa’s impending departure, “has to improve his condition a lot to adapt quickly into our team.”

Morata, 24, played for Conte at Juventus and knows what the Italian coach is all about, but it appears the early signs for him at Chelsea haven’t been great.

With Michy Batshuayi a bystander for most of this game, it’s clear he will be nothing more than a second central striking option for Chelsea this season. Morata replaced Batshuayi with 20 minutes to go and received a standing ovation from Chelsea’s supporters. The expectancy on his shoulders is clear.

Conte will rely on the towering Spaniard to score at least 20 goals and he showed his penchant for that as he first peeled off Arsenal’s defense and connected with Willian‘s searching cross to the far post but he couldn’t get a proper connection on it.

In stoppage time he then won a free kick cleverly and from the resulting set piece he nodded Cesc Fabregas’ cross wide but was offside. Morata looked lively but you can understand why Conte seems concerned about his fitness.

His scuffed penalty kick summed up his slack start to life at Stamford Bridge for the $90 million man.