It took penalty kicks to separate Liverpool and Manchester City in a wasteful but entertaining Community Shield on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
Claudio Bravo‘s second round stop of Georginio Wijnaldum met perfect finishing from the reigning domestic treble champions after a 1-1 score line over 90 minutes.
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The Reds were dominant in the second half, but only found one goal before penalties.
Sterling tucked a delightful David Silva flick under Alisson Becker in the first half, but Joel Matip nodded a late equalizer past Bravo in the second half.
Leroy Sane limped off after just 11 minutes with an injury which could jeopardize a nine-figure deal to Bayern Munich.
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Sane lashed into the side netting after Raheem Sterling picked the pocket of an unaware Joe Gomez in the fourth minute.
At the other end, Roberto Firmino juggled to set up a left-footed lash right to Claudio Bravo.
The Reds probably should’ve been up when Firmino slipped Mohamed Salah into the box, but the Egyptian couldn’t turn his shot near the goal.
Sterling could, however, side-footing a flick from David Silva under Alisson Becker, who would’ve liked to have done better.
Salah looked for a quick response, cooking Oleksandr Zinchenko on the right before missing the near post again.
Kevin De Bruyne was also very much in preseason form in terms of finishing, and his scuffed shot turned into a Sterling chance which Alisson did well to save.
Sterling then beat the Liverpool line and Alisson only to hit the far post in the 48th minute.
The Reds were all over City in the early second half, and Liverpool fans were hoping the Goal Decision System would tell them Virgil Van Dijk leveled off a corner kick to no avail.
Salah then hit the post after Sterling partially blocked a Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick.
Sterling should’ve made it 2-0 again, but the relatively wasteful forward dribbled directly into Alisson.
If Salah, Sterling, and De Bruyne were in peak finishing form, this could’ve easily been a 4-3 match, with the last name scuffing a low shot to Alisson in the 73rd.
Van Dijk kept a rally alive to set up Matip for a headed equalizer in the final 15 minutes.
Bravo made a fine save on Naby Keita in the 83rd minute.
Salah’s umpteenth chance of the game could’ve decided it in stoppage time, but Walker made an incredible goal line clearance and the ensuing corner was poorly served above the fray.