It might not have gone the way we wanted, but Liverpool played Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday — a decent precursor to the rest of the season, even if the silverware was kind of a lesser part of it. Not quite a friendly, not important to the league whatsoever, but hey a trophy! That we lost out on but no big loss, truly, as it’s just more of a chance to suss out our enemies. Things in the first half were quite shaky, but Joe Gomez was pretty encouraged by the second half performance, even if things came apart in the penalty shootout.
“They probably had the better of us in the first half and we knew that. In the second half, we came out and changed the game I think,” Gomez told the club website following the match at Wembley.
”We were doing all the right things and we had some good chances, so it’s frustrating. Obviously our chance at the end, it’s unfortunate and credit to [Kyle] Walker with good athleticism. But penalties are penalties and it can go either way.
”At the end of the day, it’s silverware, we wanted to win it – but I think we made a bit of a statement that we are here to compete this year and we want to be on them and be above them.
”The gaffer just made the point about keeping better possession and getting out better because we thought they were doing it better than us. At the end of the day, we both had 11 players on the pitch and it was about addressing the little issues and just playing our football.
”Obviously when you are coming in off pre-season, it is a step up and I suppose it did take us a little while to get going. But I think we played well and we definitely could have won the game.”
There were truly plenty of chances that should’ve been buried, and a lot of bad luck for Liverpool’s end, but the second half performance was pretty heartening. This preseason has been tough, and it’s hard to shake that, even if they were friendlies against particularly tough teams, including City. Thankfully, though, it’s over and done with and Sadio Mane returns to the squad on Monday and all preparations turn towards Norwich on Friday and the start of the league. Gomez missed a good chunk of the season last year with a broken leg and is chomping at the bit to get playing time in the new campaign.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” the defender continued. “I just want to play football freely.
”To be back is nice and I’ve just got to take each game as it comes and try and do my best to help the team.
”We have a big squad and a team full of quality, so we all want to bring our bit to the table and try and go all the way this year.”
With the lack of signings this summer, a lot will be riding on Joe Gomez’s ability to stay fit and ready to contribute when the team needs him as we have six more trophies to play for this year and with them coming loads more matches.