It’s time! The unofficial start of the 2020-21 Premier League season is today as Liverpool face Arsenal in the Community Shield.
A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quality strike put Arsenal up 1-0 at the half. Takumi Minamino equalized and the match goes to a shootout.
Klopp’s tactical last minute sub for Rhian Brewster didn’t pan out. Rhian misses his pk, and Arsenal win 5-4 on penalties. This is the second year in a row Liverpool lose the Shield on pks.
Both squads are running out strong line-ups. Here are Liverpool player ratings for the Community Shield.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (9) –
Goes with a strong line-up, though Milner’s inclusion as a mid was surprising. As the game wore on in the second half, made an interesting adjustment, moving to a 4-2-3-1. This shifted Fabinho to center-back and moved Joe Gomez out to the right. The shift worked as Liverpool started getting more shots on target.
Makes another adjustment when subbing Bobby Firmino off. Klopp moves Salah to the top of the spear and puts Curtis Jones as essentially a 10.
Managing his ass off. Makes a last second sub to get Brewster on and Gini off for the shootout. Gini missed in last year’s Community Shield. However, that gamble doesn’t pay off, as Brewster botched his penalty. Still, was the right call.
Alisson (5) –
Nothing he could do on the Aub strike for the opener. Only comes close once on making a stop during the shootout.
Neco Williams (5) –
With TAA still out, Neco gets the start. Energetic, aggressive early. Caught in a 1vs2 on the opener, though a tough spot to close off the shot. However, not a strong showing overall. Subbed off in the 59th.
Virgil van Dijk (6) –
Almost got Liverpool on the board early but ruled offsides. Otherwise, does fine. Not overtly casual.
Joe Gomez (6) –
Quiet but mistake free. Shifted to right-back when Neco is pulled. Sees plenty of the ball and gets forward a lot.
Andy Robertson (7) –
Robbo looks in mid-season form early. Delivers a great ball on a free-kick to VVD for what would’ve been the opener, but Big Virg was offsides. Overall was the best of the defenders.
James Milner (5.5) –
Definitely the surprise starter in the midfield group. Was Naby Keita not spectacular in training this week? Sturdy and steady but not spectacular. Subbed off in the 59th.
Gini Wijnaldum (6) –
Will Barcelona transfer rumors impact Gini’s performance? Workmanlike performance. Subbed off late for the shootout but perhaps unfairly.
Fabinho (6.5) –
Similar theme here–not making mistakes, not making impact. Shifted to center-back in the 59th minute. Looks comfortable defensively.
Nails his pk.
Mo Salah (6.5) –
Looking to abuse David Luiz again. Seeing NOTHING off the ball in the first half. Zipping around and growing into the game in the second.
Hammers his pk.
Sadio Mane (6) –
Another one with Barca transfer rumors swirling around his name. Looks lively but a little rusty. Getting dispossesed too often. Had a chance to put Liverpool up 2-1 in the 81st but took one touch too many.
Roberto Firmino (5) –
Not looking particularly strong. Only gets off 2 shots and not linking effectively. Too many of his passes not finding their mark. Subbed off in the 82nd.
Takumi Minamino (7) – Looking really sharp. Earns the equalizing goal. Nails his pk.
Naby Keita (5) – Inserted as more of a defensive holding mid.
Curtis Jones (NR) – Comes on for Bobby in the 82nd. Nails his pk.
Rhian Brewster (NR) – Too anxious of a pk and misses it. Could tell in his build-up.
MAN OF THE MATCH
It looks like Minamino has finally arrived.