Darwin Nunez

Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1 in the season’s ceremonial opener, the FA Community Shield. Twitter reacted to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s wondergoal, Erling Haaland’s horror show, Julian Alvarez’s debut goal, and much more.

Liverpool started the stronger of the two sides, Mohamed Salah hitting the side netting shortly after the kick-off. It took just 21 minutes for the Reds to break the deadlock, which came through right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold. Thiago and Salah both played a crucial role in the build-up, the former pinging the ball out wide to the latter, who rolled it on a plate for Alexander-Arnold to curl into the corner via a deflection.

Manchester City responded by regrouping quickly and launching an assault of their own on the Liverpool goal. Kevin De Bruyne went close with a low effort – the Belgian’s shot just skipping past the post instead of finding its way in – while summer signing Erling Haaland was kept at bay by the stand-in goalkeeper Adrian.

Fans were left unimpressed by the Norwegian in particular, stats showing his influence to be peripheral, at best.

While Haaland failed to take his chances, summer arrival Julian Alvarez did. The Argentinian wonder-kid joined Manchester City in a low-profile transfer that was agreed last winter, and leveled things up mere minutes after coming on for his debut. The youngster poked the ball into the net from close range after Adrian had spilled Phil Foden’s shot.

At the other end of the pitch, Liverpool’s new “number 9” – and record arrival – Darwin Nunez was key to his side taking the lead again; the Uruguayan’s header off a Salah cross hit the arm of Ruben Dias, allowing the Egyptian to convert from the spot.

Nunez added a third later, putting Liverpool’s win beyond any doubt. The Uruguay international timed his run to perfection to head an Andrew Robertson knock-down past Ederson in goal in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time. Meanwhile, Haaland completed a horror show by smashing the ball against the bar from close range, despite the entire goal being at his mercy.

Liverpool, then, running out as the winners in the season’s ceremonial opener; the Reds play Fulham on the opening weekend of the 2022/23 Premier League season while Manchester City pay a visit to West Ham United.

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