Art and Culture

City, Liverpool Renew Rivalry with Community Shield 

todayJuly 30, 2022

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With the last five Premier League titles between them and just one point separating the two teams last season, Manchester City and Liverpool will begin another season-long rivalry beginning with the Community Shield. As part of their readiness to outwit each other, both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have made some reasonable signings some of which could be unleashed today. No doubt the encounter would be more than a charity

The annual English football curtain-raiser takes place at the King Power Stadium in Leicester today, as Liverpool and Manchester City lock horns for the chance to lift the Community Shield.

Jurgen Klopp’s side got their hands on both domestic cups last season, but it was the Citizens who finished as top dogs in the Premier League yet again.

With the England Women’s team seeking to go one better than the men did at the European Championships, the 100th Community Shield will be staged away from Wembley while the Lionesses face off against Germany for a shot at glory.

Instead, Leicester City’s King Power Stadium – a turf where Liverpool suffered one of their rare losses in the 2021-22 season – will host the charity match, as the Foxes prepare to relinquish the crown they won last year by overcoming Man City in the final.

Liverpool have been crowned outright winners of the Community Shield on 10 occasions – sharing the honour in another five seasons – but not since 2006 have the Reds got their hands on that particular piece of silverware.

Klopp’s side had their penchant for penalty shootouts to thank for their FA and EFL Cup double over Chelsea last season, but both of Liverpool’s last two Community Shield defeats have actually come from 12 yards, most recently to Arsenal in the 2020 edition.

Two wins and two defeats have come the Reds’ way in pre-season so far, but preparations for the reunion with City did not go according to plan in Austria during a 1-0 defeat to Red Bull Salzburg, and Strasbourg will also pay a visit to Anfield 24 hours after the Community Shield.

Lightning literally did strike twice at the Lambeau Field during Man City’s recent friendly with German champions Bayern Munich, as the game was delayed by 15 minutes before being shortened by a further 10 due to stormy conditions in Green Bay.

Before players were taken off the field, there was time for Guardiola and the City faithful to witness Erling Haaland score his first goal in sky blue to hand the Premier League holders a 1-0, adding to their previous 2-1 success against Club America thanks to a Kevin De Bruyne double.

Man City’s pre-season period is now technically over, but Guardiola will renew hostilities with Barcelona for an ALS charity friendly at the end of August, and the Citizens have an added motivation to come out on top in the annual curtain-raiser.

Indeed, Leicester prevented Man City from getting their hands on the trophy last year, which would have represented the Sky Blues’ seventh outright triumph in the one-off match, but they have now lost more Community Shield matches than they have won.

Meetings between City and Liverpool in the latter stages of cup tournaments are commonplace nowadays, and the 2021-22 season saw the two powerhouses play out a pair of pulsating 2-2 draws in the Premier League before the Reds survived a scare to win their FA Cup semi-final by three goals to two.

Goalscoring in the Premier League last season wasn’t exactly a big issue for City and Liverpool – they scored 99 and 94 goals respectively, while the next highest tally in the league was Chelsea’s 76.

However, both sides have spent big on their forward line.

Having a quality, out-and-out striker has long been a talking point for City and they ended that discussion by signing Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth £51m.

The Norwegian is only 22, but has been prolific for club and country for some time. Haaland has 20 goals in 21 games for Norway and left Dortmund having scored 86 goals in 89 games.

Big things are also expected of Argentine striker Julian Alvarez. The 22-year-old joined from River Plate in January but stayed at the club on loan, and has only properly linked up with City since July. He has been tipped as a potential successor to Sergio Aguero.

In addition, manager Pep Guardiola strengthened his midfield with the signing of England international Kalvin Phillips, 26, from Leeds for £45m.

Liverpool’s main signing of the summer was Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez, who joined from Benfica for a club record £85m.

The 23-year-old has adapted well since moving from South America to Europe and scored 34 goals in 41 matches for the Portuguese side last season.

The Reds also signed exciting young Portuguese forward Fabio Carvalho from Fulham and 18-year-old Scottish right-back Calvin Ramsay from Aberdeen.

Liverpool needed to bolster their attacking options given the departure of Sadio Mane after six trophy-laden seasons at Anfield.

Despite being offered a new contract after scoring 23 goals in all competitions last season, the Senegal striker decided to move on and joined German giants Bayern Munich for £35m – and his goals will certainly be a miss.

Other notable departures included Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino.

Manchester City’s headline departure was Raheem Sterling.

The England forward joined Chelsea in a £50m deal in July, leaving City with a record of 131 goals in 339 games, with 13 goals in the Premier League last season.

City will also come up against another of their former players in the forthcoming campaign, with Gabriel Jesus having joined Arsenal this summer for £45m.

The Brazil forward had never been prolific at City – he scored 58 goals in 159 Premier League games – but he did provide eight league assists last season, the joint most of any player at the club along with Kevin de Bruyne

Injuries aside, the Community Shield should provide some indication of what Guardiola and Klopp view as their strongest XI.

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