Having said that, Klopp trotted out his near A+ line-up for the match against FFP violating Manchester City. Despite the fact that City lives to win meaningless trophies (inferiority complex), Liverpool’s starting XI for the match is the stronger.
This is definitely a pro-Liverpool crowd. The Getty Images database from outside of Wembley are almost all red shirts. And there’s a good full-throated You’ll Never Walk Alone pre-match.
First Half. At the half, City was ahead 1-0 off a Raheem Sterling goal that Alisson really should’ve stopped. Even game though. City led possession 58-42% and goals 5/2 to 4/1. However much like preseason, Liverpool’s backline isn’t as organized or sharp as last year.
Second Half. Liverpool dominated the second half, although were only able to level it 1-1 on a Joel Matip header. They turned the possession advantage (on City!!!) to 53-47% at the end of the game. Turned the advantage on shots on goal to 17/9 to City’s 8/3.
Penalty Shootout. The game went to a penalty shootout. City made all of theirs. Liverpool missed one (Gini). They lose the Community Shield in a shootout despite being the better team. Goal line clearances. Near misses. Losing despite being the better team. Domestically, 2019-20 starts just as 2018-19 ended.
Regardless, an encouraging performance and signal for the rest of the year.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (8) – There are pluses and minuses to rolling out your best available line-up (assuming Sadio Mane isn’t fit yet). Would a win over City give the squad a psychological boost for the long grind of a season ahead?
Klopp at least came dressed to play, unlike Pep Guardiola. Pep showed up dressed like he was off to help paint a buddy’s guest room.
Klopp, like last year, had his team stronger in the second half. Disappointing end result as his squad was the better for the day.
Alisson (4.5) – Should’ve saved the opener on Sterling. Did well to keep a second goal from happening in the 17th minute. Played a potentially dangerous ball out in the 25th minute. Did well to deny Sterling on a 1v1 in the second half.
Should’ve saved the Zinchenko shot in the shootout. Didn’t guess right once. Can’t believe I’m typing this, but Mignolet would’ve done better today.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (4) – Very much “off” on set piece services. Out of position defensively too often. Subbed off in the 67th for Joel Matip.
Virgil van Dijk (6) – Just missed a goal (it looked like a goal, but the ball didn’t cross the line) off the top bar in the 57th. A few minutes later, let Sterling in behind him but recovered well to help deny a would-be goal.
Made a wonderfully composed pass to Joel Matip to level the game in the 77th. Loses a point for getting dribbled past.
65 – During the Community Shield final, Virgil van Dijk was dribbled past for the first time in his last 65 competitive appearances (by Gabriel Jesus) for @LFC since Mikel Merino did so for Newcastle in March 2018. Human. #CommunityShield pic.twitter.com/24B6WFcKUw— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 4, 2019
Joe Gomez (7.5) – Great, clean challenge on David Silva in the 40th, predictably causing Silva to go down writhing like he got shot in the foot. Looked much better after shifting to right-back after TAA subbed out. Solid defensively and on the attack.
Andy Robertson (5) – After a middling preseason, looked back to normal early on. Wonderful through ball to Origi in the 4th minute. However, failed to pick up runners behind him multiple times early. Best thing he did all game was giving Pep some lip in the 90th.
Jordan Henderson (4) – Unnoticeable in first half. More on the attack in the second half. However, in 74th minute Hendo had an opportunity to rip it, didn’t, then delivered a poor pass to Salah that was intercepted. Then delivered another clunker in the 75th. Subbed off for Lallana in the 79th.
Fabinho (5) – Unnoticeable in first half. Non-factor in second. Subbed off in 67th for Naby Keita.
Georginio Wijnaldum (5) – Aaaaand copy+paste first half comment here. Better in second half. Missed his pk. Knew the second he ran up it wasn’t going in. Didn’t look confident.
Roberto Firmino (6) – Wonderful control in the 8th minute, bringing a difficult ball down and finding Salah for the first big opportunity of the game. Then was mostly solid although somewhat quiet. Subbed off for Xherdan Shaqiri in the 79th.
Divock Origi (5) – Quiet first half. Had a 1vs1 he could’ve done better with in the 33rd. Worked his ass off in the 43rd to earn a free kick. Subbed off for Ox in the 79th.
Mohamed Salah (8) – Started in preseason form. Had a great opportunity in the 8th minute but just missed it wide. Missed two more opportunities, one in the 29th that mid-season Salah would’ve finished.
Salah improved as the game went on, but still missed shot after shot. Seriously, he couldn’t finish a sentence. Good work rate though, dispossessing Raheem Sterling after being dispossessed. Gengengpressing af.
Moved up top in the #9 role after the 79th. Missed another close one in the 86th. Really deserved a goal. Was going for it all game. Played a full 90 and looks fully fit. Denied by Kyle Walker in the closing minute on a play that had whiffs of John Stones’ clearance of Mane from last year.
Mohamed Salah had more shots than the entire Man City team combined (8) in the #CommunityShield.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 4, 2019
• 10 shots
• 4 on target
• 2 against the woodwork
• 1 off the line
So unlucky not to find the back of the net. pic.twitter.com/xOx5LS1Jgo
Did convert his pk.
Joel Matip (8) – Came on the 67th and immediately challenged by Jesus, doing well to win a foul. Calmly headed in the tying goal in 77th. Made his claim to be VVD’s starting partner.
Naby Keita (6) – Came on in the 67th for Fabinho to help create an offensive spark. Didn’t. Was in 2018 form. Couldn’t complete a pass to save his life. Rocketed a great one-time shot in the 83rd.
Xherdan Shaqiri (7) – Was aggressive on the attack. Buried his pk in the shootout.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Inc) – Not much of an impact. Drilled his pk.
Adam Lallana (6.5) – Fed a great ball to Keita that almost led to a goal. His hair makes him look like the Night King. Nailed his pk.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Had Matip played more, it would’ve gone to him. However, encouraging game from Mo Salah. He gets it.