Georginio Wijnaldum missed the crucial spot-kick for Liverpool while the Premier League champions City scored all five of theirs to retain the Shield against the side that ran them so close for the title last season. City led at half-time thanks to Raheem Sterling’s 14th-minute opener – his first against his former club – but Liverpool roared back in the second period, striking the crossbar through Virgil van Dijk and post through Mohamed Salah before substitute Joel Matip hauled them level with 13 minutes remaining. Kyle Walker brilliantly hooked a Salah header off the line in stoppage-time to force the shootout, where Pep Guardiola’s side continued their domestic dominance with the seventh trophy of his tenure in England.
How City retained the Community Shield
City posed the greater attacking threat in the opening exchanges against an uncharacteristically vulnerable Liverpool defence, the champions fashioning the first chance as Leroy Sane lashed a shot into the side-netting inside four minutes.
But Liverpool responded as Roberto Firmino plucked the ball down on the edge of the City area and stung Claudio Bravo’s palms with a fierce drive. The Brazilian then released Salah in behind, but the Egyptian could only find the side-netting. Sane’s afternoon ended abruptly as he was forced off with a suspected knee injury following a collision with Trent Alexander-Arnold but, while his replacement Gabriel Jesus was being readied, City hit the front. A free-kick out to the left was helped into the area by John Stones and David Silva, and Sterling pounced with a close-range effort that squirmed under Alisson into the back of the net.
The intensity of the contest lessened as half-time approached, but tempers flared off the field as City boss Guardiola was booked for remonstrating against an unpunished Joe Gomez challenge on David Silva. Liverpool made a marked improvement after the interval and looked to have drawn level on 57 minutes when Van Dijk’s near-post flick cannoned down off the crossbar, but the Goal Decision System ruled the whole of the ball had not crossed the whole of the line.
Seconds later, the woodwork denied Liverpool for the second time as Salah’s low drive flashed past Bravo’s outstretched arm but struck the base of the post. Sterling should have doubled his and City’s tally just after the hour when Walker released him through on goal, but indecision, whether to shoot or pass at the crucial moment, saw the ball run through to Alisson. And Liverpool took full advantage of their reprieve, equalising through an unlikely source as Jordan Henderson’s free-kick was sent back across goal by Van Dijk, allowing substitute Matip to head home from six yards.
Liverpool pushed for the winner in a frantic finale that saw City nearly hand the Reds the Shield with a series of unforced errors. Salah broke into the area after pouncing on a loose Rodri pass but was thwarted by Bravo’s sprawling save. Nicolas Otamendi’s error then released the Egyptian through on goal in stoppage-time, but Bravo saved again before a stunning goal-line clearance from Walker prevented Salah’s headed rebound from finding the target. Xherdan Shaqiri and Ilkay Gundogan scored their side’s first spot-kick but Bravo’s save from Wijnaldum handed City the initiative. Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Oleksandr Zinchenko all converted from 12 yards, allowing Jesus to score the winning penalty that sealed the Shield.
- Manchester City have won the Community Shield for a sixth time and are the first side to retain the trophy since Arsenal in August 2015.
- Manchester City are the first side to win the Community Shield having won both the Premier League and the FA Cup in the previous season since Arsenal in August 2002 (beating Liverpool 1-0).
- Including penalty shootout defeats, only Manchester United and Chelsea (nine each) have ended up on the losing side on more occasions in the Community Shield final than Liverpool (seven – level with Arsenal).
- In all competitions, Man City have won just two of their last 13 meetings with Liverpool (D4 L7), however they are unbeaten in their last three games against the reds (W1 D2).
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last eight games at Wembley Stadium since losing to Arsenal in the 2017 FA Cup semi-final (W6 D2), the longest ongoing such unbeaten run among club sides.
- Raheem Sterling’s opener for Manchester City was his first goal against his former side Liverpool in what was his 11th appearance against them across all competitions.
- Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in seven goals in his last four appearances for club and country at Wembley Stadium (six goals and one assist).
- Three of Joel Matip’s four goals for Liverpool have been scored in London (Selhurst Park, London Stadium, Wembley), with three of the four also coming from headers.
Pep Guardiola: “The hunger is there. The game was tremendously demanding. I think we had a really good first half at 1-0, and we had two clear chances to score a second, but after we could not control the switch of play, the long ball and second ball. At this part of the season that is normal. “I don’t know if it will be like last season, two real contenders, I think United with Harry Maguire and the other players, Arsenal too, Chelsea and Tottenham. I think there will be many, many contenders this time.” On Sane’s injury: “The first impression was not good, but I think it is not bad. Honestly I don’t know. I will wait, we will wait, but I think he will be OK.”
Jurgen Klopp: “It was a really powerful performance. Both teams had a similar pre-season, travelling so much you don’t really know where you are, it’s just so intense with all the trips. “Obviously in the second half we were in charge and full of desire. We didn’t do it, but at least we got the equaliser so it’s how it is. Penalties, a bit of luck is involved and one goalkeeper’s save decides it, but I can’t be disappointed today.”
Van Dijk’s run comes to an end
Virgil van Dijk was dribbled past for the first time in his last 65 competitive appearances (by Gabriel Jesus) for Liverpool, since Mikel Merino did so for Newcastle in March 2018.