Summer signing Darwin Nunez sealed victory as Liverpool landed the first blow of the season on champions Manchester City by winning a thrilling Community Shield encounter.
The FA Cup winners were pipped to the Premier League title by a single point last term after a season-long fight with City, but came out on top in a tremendous game in Leicester.
Playing at the King Power Stadium rather than Wembley – which will host Sunday’s Women’s Euros final – the two sides did not hold back in a match that tends to be badged as a ‘glorified friendly’.
Reds full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold scored the opening goal with a curling effort from the edge of the box which took a slight deflection off Nathan Ake and nestled in the far corner.
Another newcomer – Julian Alvarez – scored next, staying alert after Phil Foden’s shot was saved to poke home the equaliser from close range, with the goal awarded after a lengthy VAR check.
Mohamed Salah edged Liverpool back in front by scoring from the penalty spot with eight minutes remaining after referee Craig Pawson adjudged – from looking at the pitch side monitor – that Ruben Dias had handled inside the area.
And Nunez had the final say, stooping to head in from close range before wheeling off to celebrate in front of his new supporters.
Victory saw Liverpool win the traditional season curtain-raiser for the first time since 2006 and lay down an early marker in what is expected to be another battle between the sides for the Premier League title which commences next Friday.
– Ferdinand A. Baah, Sports Journalist