Football: Liverpool draw first blood over rivals Manchester City in Community Shield

Liverpool celebrate a goal against Manchester City
Liverpool celebrate a goal against Manchester City. Photo credit: Getty

Liverpool's new striker Darwin Nunez has scored a late goal on his debut, as they drew first blood in this season's rivalry with Manchester City with a 3-1 win in the Community Shield.

The Uruguayan, bought from Benfica for an initial fee of 75 million euros (NZ$123.78 million), made himself an instant fan favourite, after capping a lively appearance off the bench with a stoppage-time goal to secure the first trophy of the season.

English champions City started their big close-season signing - Norway's Erling Haaland - but in contrast to Nunez, he had a disappointing debut, missing several chances and struggling to combine with his new teammates.

However, another new City face - Argentine forward Julian Alvarez - found the target, after coming on in the second half.

Trent Alexander-Arnold opened the scoring, firing Juergen Klopp's Liverpool side ahead in the 21st minute of the 100th edition of the annual clash between the English Premier League champions and FA Cup winners.

Thiago Alcantara floated the ball to Mohamed Salah on the right and the Egyptian laid it back to Alexander-Arnold, whose first-time shot curled into the far corner.

Haaland, brought in from Borussia Dortmund, missed two first-half chances to mark his City debut with a goal, but Pep Guardiola's side were missing their usual fluency.


Another new striking addition brought City level in the 70th minute, when Phil Foden's shot was parried by Adrian and with the ball spilling loose, former River Plate forward Alvarez pounced to net his first goal for the club.

Jurgen Klopp celebrates the Community Shield win
Jurgen Klopp celebrates the Community Shield win. Photo credit: Getty

The effort was initially ruled out for offside, but a VAR review overturned the decision, although the technology was soon to work against Guardiola's side.

Referee Craig Pawson went to the monitor, before ruling City defender Ruben Dias had handled at close range from a Nunez header and Mohamed Salah drilled home the penalty to restore Liverpool's lead in the 83rd minute.

Nunez then capped an eventful appearance from the bench, scoring with an angled header, after Andy Robertson had nodded the ball into his path.

Haaland's testing debut ended with him missing a sitter, when Foden's shot was pushed out by Adrian, and the blond forward blasted his shot against the bar and over.

"Our season started today and it was important for us to get off on the right foot," said Alexander-Arnold, who was full of praise for Nunez's impact.

"He won the penalty, scored a goal and looked very lively. He's been bought in to score goals and he's proved he can do that today.

"He's a top player, a young player who is willing to learn. He's bonded well with the lads and he came on with a point to prove."