Liverpool 3 - 1 Manchester City
Liverpool: Alexander-Arnold 20’, Salah 83’ (PEN), Nùñez 90+4’
Manchester City: Alvarez 73’
Jürgen Klopp fields a strong team in the unofficial opening of the new season. Alisson is still out, so Adrián makes an appearance in the goal for Liverpool. Luis Díaz, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino start up front
Salah took no time reminding everyone why he’s worth that supersized contract. He got the first big chance of the game, sliding through the Manchester City defense, but his effort only made it as far as the side netting.
Kevin de Bruyne returned the favor minutes later, guiding the ball to the corner of the 18-yard box. However, thankfully Virgil van Dijk nudged the shot off target for a corner. The resulting free kick was a poor one.
Liverpool looked the more in-control of the two sides in the first 15 minutes, but despite strong build-up play, they only had Salah’s attempt to show for it.
In addition to their quicker reflexes and better control in the match, Liverpool were also switching play back and forth across the width of the pitch for fun. One such instance lead to their first goal. Díaz slid the ball to Thiago Alcantara, who passed it across to Salah. Salah tapped the ball into the path of an onrushing Trent Alexander-Arnold. The young winger took the opportunity on his right foot from just outside the box, tucking it neatly into the far corner.
The opening goal spurred City into action, and Adrián was called to make several crucial saves as de Bruyne and Mahrez both tried their luck. He did well to stay calm and deal with the danger to keep Liverpool ahead as the first half ticked on.
Halftime arrived with Liverpool in the lead 1-0.
The second half saw a quick push from City. Adrián once again did his business, denying Mahrez from close range.
It took a solid 10 minutes for Liverpool to get re-acquainted with the match, but they once again began to control the tempo of play. However, Manchester City looked ready to push forward fast on the counter-attack should the Reds get sloppy.
Darwin Nùñez gets a chance to show his stuff. He replaced Firmino in the front three to loud cheers of support and encouragement from the Liverpool crowd.
After a bit of controversy and a VAR check, Alvarez evens the score for Manchester City. Phil Foden’s initial attempt was deemed offside by the linesman. Adrián bobbled the stop and Alvarez slipped it in on the rebound. VAR determined that Foden was onside in the build up, and so the goals stood.
Harvey Elliott came on for Alexander-Arnold and James Milner and Jordan Henderson exchanged positions and armbands.
Nùñez made a huge contribution early on, forcing a handball Rubian Dias from a headed shot on goal. Salah lined up for the penalty and restored Liverpool’s lead in his typical calm fashion.
Thiago made way for Naby Keïta.
Elliott set up Keïta a few moments later with a nice pass to play him in. However, his resulting shot is blocked.
Warning bells in the 91st minute. Erling Haaland scored, but this time replays work against City when they showed that the ball had clearly flown out of play before it was returned in by Foden.
To cap off a lovely Liverpool victory, Nùñez makes all the Liverpool fans explode by scoring at the very end to finish things off. Salah floated it to Robertson, who headed it down for Nùñez to nod in.
Once more for the road, Haaland smashed the ball off of the crossbar and was offside to boot.
A great way to start the season. An awesome showing from Nùñez. Here’s hoping this is the first of plenty more Liverpool victories to come.