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Pep Guardiola carded as City are crowned champions

by Daniel Itai
04 Aug 2019 at 21:01hrs | Views
Manchester City beat Liverpool 5 - 4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw to retain the Community Shield in an absorbing contest at Wembley stadium in London this afternoon.

Georginio Wijnaldum was the only player to miss from 12 yards as Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Sliva, Phil Foden, Oleksandr Zinchenko all netted for City before Gabriel Jesus struck the winning spot-kick.

Raheem Sterling had earlier opened the scoring with a close-range finish in the 12th minute as City started the better side but Liverpool grew stronger as the match wore on and substitute Joel Matip, deservedly equalised with 13 minutes remaining.

Nine of the starting lineup from Liverpool's Champions League Final victory over Tottenham in June began here with only Joel Matip and Sadio Mane absent.

City opted to leave Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus on the bench after the pair recently returned from Copa America duty but £62.8million summer signing Rodri anchored the midfield while Leroy Sane heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich started on the left.

After Mohamed Salah wasted a good early opportunity the first of many rushing a shot wide from 12 yards, Sane was involved in the moment which turned the match in City's favour.

His angled ball found Kevin De Bruyne on City's left and he picked out David Silva who in turn helped it on brilliantly to Sterling, lurking just inside the six yard box.

Sterling's left foot shot was weak but it carried enough pace to squirm under Alisson and into the net.

Salah hit the post as Liverpool looked to respond before City boss Pep Guardiola became the first manager in English football to receive a yellow card  a new sanction for the 2019-20 season  after protesting furiously as Silva writhed in pain following a challenge from Joe Gomez.

Liverpool improved after the restart and thought they had equalised when Virgil van Dijk met Alexander Arnold's corner with a deft half-volley which hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced clear.

Salah then hit the post as City began to wobble, an uncertainty Guardiola sought to rectify by introducing Gundogan for Silva on the hour mark.

Liverpool continued to enjoy the better of the second period, dominating possession to a significant extent, and eventually they restored parity.

Jordan Henderson swung over a free kick which City could only clear to Van Dijk, who helped the ball into the box and Matip, on for Alexander-Arnold ten minutes earlier nodded past Claudio Bravo.

Bravo then made smart saves from another substitute, Naby Keita, and Salah as Liverpool threatened to win it in normal time.

In a frantic finale, the City goalkeeper needed Walker to keep out Salah in stoppage time after saving his first effort, as he headed the rebound goalwards. Walker acrobatically cleared off the line, meaning penalties determined their fate.

Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp described the game as a fair match, "the second half was a really good performance, powerful performance, to come here and play the second half, we were in charge of the game. We could have decided it but didn't do it. It's how it is. Penalties is a bit of luck, one goalkeeper saves, the least we deserved was the equaliser, one save decided it and I cannot be disappointed today. The performance was much more important today than a win. We know we are still here and can play proper football. I liked that today, in the first half we could have adjusted better, but we had chances as well. In the second half we changed a few things, we wanted it and in the end it was a little bit lucky. Congratulations to City."

Man City's coach, Pep Guardiola  had this to say after the match, "An incredible final from both sides. We were in a really good moment in the first half, but in the last 15 we were exhausted, so we were bad. We had our chances to win, they did too. It was a good test for both teams. it's nice to realise what we're going to face for the rest of the season but we won, we scored more penalties than them. The first title of the season is on our side."

Source - Daniel Itai