Nunez eclipses Haaland as Liverpool beat Man City to Community Shield



Liverpool struck first blood against Manchester City ahead of the new Premier League season as Darwin Nunez made an instant impact on Jurgen Klopp’s men to win the Community Shield 3-1.

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In a tale of two big summer signings, Nunez came off the bench to win a penalty and score his first goal since a €75m ($77m) transfer from Benfica, while Erling Haaland made his debut in City to forget.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s searing strike gave Liverpool a deserved half-time lead at Leicester.

But it was City’s other new striker who brought Pep Guardiola’s men back into the game after the break as Julian Alvarez equalized.

Tying Mohamed Salah to a new three-year contract was Liverpool’s other major summer activity and the Egyptian was deadly from the penalty spot after Nunez’s header was handled by Ruben Dias.

The Uruguayan then had his own moment of glory as he bent down to head home in stoppage time before ripping off his shirt in celebration.

The victory saw Liverpool win the traditional curtain-raiser of the season for the first time since 2006 and set the first milestone in what is expected to be another battle between Liverpool and City for the Premier League title.

City held off the Reds to win the Premier League for the fourth time in five years by a point in a thrilling final last season.

Guardiola’s men had to come from 2-0 up on the final day of the campaign to beat Aston Villa and were again guilty of a slow start.

Salah was the provider of the first goal as he delivered Thiago Alcantara’s cross pass to the edge of the box and Alexander-Arnold hit the post with the help of a slight deflection from Dias.

City had played just two pre-season friendlies against Liverpool’s four and took half an hour to find their feet.

Haaland was denied by Liverpool substitute goalkeeper Adrian with his first goal view.

However, the Norwegian should have opened his City account moments later as he failed to connect properly with Joao Cancelo’s inviting cross.

Nunez had his chance to shine on the hour mark, but missed his first big chance when Ederson won in a one-on-one.

On the other side, City’s new South American striker also got off to a flying start in England.

Alvarez’s arrival at the Etihad went unnoticed in the hype surrounding Haaland.

But the Argentine, who scored six goals in a Copa Libertadores game in May, is also considered one of the most exciting young strikers in the world.

Alvarez was quickest to react on the rebound after Adrian saved Phil Foden’s initial effort and the goal stood after a VAR review for offside.

It took further VAR intervention for Liverpool to restore their lead seven minutes from time.

Referee Craig Pawson pointed the spot after seeing a replay of Nunez’ header coming back from Dias’ arm.

Salah was lethal as always from 12 yards as he drilled into the bottom corner despite Ederson going the right way.

Nunez then put an end to any doubts about the result when he pounced on Andy Robertson’s header through goal.

But City’s miserable day didn’t end there as Haaland hit the bar with the gaping goal deep into stoppage time to keep the Norwegian superstar waiting to open his account in English football.