Manchester City have won back-to-back FA Community Shield trophies for the first time in club history after defeating Liverpool 5-4 on penalties. Brazilian youngster Gabriel Jesus was the hero for Manchester City, scoring the winning penalty after Claudio Bravo came up big to save Giorgino Wijnadlum’s shot from the spot.
Last year’s Premier League winners struck first in the glorified friendly when Raheem Sterling slotted his shot in between Alisson legs after David Silva flicked a beautiful ball into the winger’s path.
The goal was symbolic of Liverpool’s sluggish play for the early portion of the match as Sterling was not only able to beat Jordan Henderson to the ball, but every other defender in red seemed to serve no purpose other than to stand around as field decor.
Halftime proved to be just what Liverpool needed in order to make a splash in this game. After gathering themselves in the locker room, the Reds came out firing and even put together some offensive pushes that led to shots hitting the crossbar—a far cry from the off-target shots they were getting off in the first half. Joel Matip eventually broke through for Liverpool after Virgil van Dijk gathered a free kick from Henderson and lifted a pass over to his fellow defender for him to head the ball into the back of the net.
Mo Salah came close to ending the game in regulation after seeming to beat Bravo with a chip over the goalkeeper who was well off of his line. However, Kyle Walker came to the rescue for City, and made a spectacular goal-line clearance to keep things even at one goal a piece.
If City’s earlier goal was symbolic of Liverpool’s slow start, this near-goal from the Reds was symbolic of their fast-paced finish to the match. Unfortunately, they were unable to take advantage of the momentum they had built towards the end and the game remained tied through 90 minutes.
The match went straight to penalties and the two sides nearly went tit-for-tat the whole way through. Bravo broke things in favor of his team against Wijnaldum when he dove right on the weak penalty attempt and punched the ball away. From there, both teams continued to score from the spot at ease, which gave Jesus the opportunity to seal things for City, which he did.
Once again, Manchester City defeated Liverpool by the slightest of margins.