Darwin Nunez played a huge part as Liverpool defeated Manchester City 3-1 to win the 2022 FA Community Shield, the traditional curtain-raiser for the domestic English season. The Reds enjoyed a brilliant performance against Pep Guardiola’s side at the King Power Stadium.
Due to the Women’s Euros final scheduled to take place in Wembley, the FA Community Shield was moved to Leicester City’s home ground, the King Power Stadium. FA Cup winners Liverpool faced their rivals and Premier League champions Manchester City for the first piece of silverware of the 2022-23 season.
Manchester City started the match with €75 million striker Erling Haaland leading the line, while Liverpool’s own €75 million man Darwin Nunez was left on the substitutes’ bench.
Haaland struggled to find rhythm against a dominant Liverpool side who denied Manchester City any sort of space whatsoever. The Norwegian striker touched the ball only thrice in the opening 20 minutes of the match before Liverpool took the lead through Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Englishman rifled a shot home from outside the box, beating Ederson in the City goal in the 21st minute.
After taking the lead, Liverpool continued to run the game, leaving their rivals chasing shadows around the pitch until the end of the first half.
The second half resumed under similar circumstances, with City struggling to get a foothold in the match. It took the introduction of Phil Forden and Julian Alvarez to inject life into their play, and it was the Argentine youngster who drew his new side level with an impressive finish in the 70th minute following a VAR check.
Nunez, who had been introduced at the same time as Alvarez, won his side a penalty after his header was handled by Manchester City captain Ruben Dias. Mohamed Salah stepped up to smash his penalty home, sending Ederson the wrong way in the 83rd minute to restore his side’s advantage.
The Reds were not done with their rivals and Nunez announced himself to English football by rounding off the scoring for his team in the 94th minute as he finished off an assist from Andrew Robertson.
Haaland had the game’s final chance but missed an open goal from eight yards out after Adrian had parried a ball into his path, ending a frustrating evening for the 21-year-old.
Liverpool will take the Community Shield win and performance as a confidence booster going into the 2022-23 season as they look to dethrone the Citizens as league champions. Pep Guardiola’s men have now lost the Community Shield for a second season running, following last season’s defeat to Leicester City.