Different year, (exactly) same result, as for the second season running, Liverpool missed out on the Community Shield, this time in a 1-1 penalty defeat to Arsenal that mirrored last year’s loss to Manchester City.
Like last time, the Reds were pegged back in the 12th minute, this time with a curler from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who honored the recently passed, Chadwick Boseman with a goal celebration celebrating the actor’s role in the film Black Panther. Like last year, a rash of substitutions from Jürgen Klopp catalyzed the breakthrough for an otherwise toothless Reds side, with Takumi Minamino’s 77th minute equalizer to end normal time at 1-1. However, unhappily like last year, the Reds were pipped to the season’s first trophy in another 5-4 penalty shootout, as late sub Rhian Brewster clipped the wrong side of the crossbar to send Liverpool home trophy-less.
It was great result for Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, starting his first full season in charge as with another win over Klopp’s Liverpool following a 2-1 victory over the Reds in July. Nevertheless, the Liverpool boss chose to focus on the positives, admitting disappointment in the loss highlighting Minamino opening his account for the club:
“We had our two or three big moments which we didn’t finish off and that decides games, which we know.
“But it was big day for [Minamino] and us,” Klopp said of the Japanese international scoring outing. The only thing he [had] lacked for us was a goal. He’s had some moments and the shape he is in is obviously good. The goal was the logical step for him. I am very pleased for him. Very important for us and him to make this step.”
“Taki can have an impact, that is why we signed him,” the German continued. “I don’t want massive pressure on him, there is no need for it. He is a really useful player. He is good in small spaces, first touch exceptional and decision making between the lines is good. He has had to adapt.”
“We were here to win. I hope that was obvious. We lost the competition because of penalties and because we didn’t use our chances. We could have scored earlier and had the game in the right direction. Time was not enough.”
The season didn’t turn out so bad for the Reds the last time they lost this competition, so although disappointing, the Reds will hope to go again in the push to retain their Premier League title.