Guardiola and City know Liverpool Won’t Go Away as Season Kicks Off

By Daily Sports on August 6, 2019

Views: 476

There was something quite striking about the Community Shield match between Manchester City and Liverpool last Sunday which City won 6-5 on penalty shootout.

Of course, with two ultra-attacking sides on display, fireworks were expected and, though there were only two goals to show, enthralling attacking football was not in short supply from both teams.

What struck me however was how much Liverpool fans outnumbered those of Man City at the Wembley stadium in London where the match held, far away from the north of England from where both clubs call home. City seemed like a team under siege at a venue that was supposedly a neutral venue.

Whatever way ticket allocations were arranged for the game, the sheer lopsidedness of the turn-up at the stadium served as a reminder that Liverpool are a more accomplished of the sides history wise and a club with a larger fan base.

City came into the game as league champions while Liverpool qualified for the Sunday fixture as FA cup champs. But Liverpool are the current Champions League kings and came into this game with justifiable confidence.

As a precursor to the 2019/20 league season, the Community Cup match was a thriller that offered a lot of excitement that one expects to see from the top sides in the coming season.

City won the title last year with a slight one point margin over Liverpool after the Reds lost just one game all season. Liverpool are desperately trying to end their decades old drought as premier league champions and Jurgen Klopp’s men, despite a shaky preseason, results wise, gave a performance that resembled the solid and frightening outfits they were last season.

If City looked under siege from the stands, then in the second half, after having taken a first half 1-0 lead through ex-Liverpool man Raheem Sterling, they looked totally overrun for most parts.

A late equaliser through from an unlikely but beautiful combination between Liverpool center backs brought Liverpool back into the game. An intelligent cross by Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dyjk at the edge of the 6-yard box, when many less experienced players would have opted for a rushed volley towards goal, was bravely by a header by Joel Matip.

Liverpool could have won it late on as they missed a couple of sitters with City clearly on the ropes.

An incredible last minute goal line clearance by Kyle Walker to deny Liverpool a certain second goal encapsulated the thrills of the English league that has been missed in the past few months.

Yet, for all of Liverpool’s high pressure on Man City in the second half of the tie, Pep Guardiorla’s lads would have scored a second goal that would have given them a two-goal lead off a swift counter. Sterling, faced with just Liverpool ’keeper Allison to beat but he dithered and the golden opportunity was wasted.

The tight nature of the community shield match between the top two teams of England is a forerunner to what is to come in the season. These two sides are most likely to be once again main contenders for the premier league title.

Man City held off Liverpool last season and they would hope to do the same again this season. But it’s remarkable how Jurgen Klopp seems to be forcing Guardiorla to adjust his tactics.

The last few games between the teams have seen Guardiola adopting a more cautious approach and this is interesting from an avowedly attack-minded manager.

Liverpool have not made any major additions to their squad this season but they are nonetheless settled with no major departures either.

It remains to be seen how City, on the other hand, can cope with the absence of inspirational captain Vincent Kompany who has left the club. Kompany bailed City out several times in their pursuit for greatness with impeccable leadership and quality goals as a center back and, simply put, his kind of leadership is hard to replace.

Despite his Community Shield win, Guardiola would surely be looking at Klopp and his Liverpool team snapping on their heels and he will know Liverpool won’t go away and could leapfrog them to winning the title this season. He has to work out a solution to keep them at bay, because on the evidence of Sunday’s Community Shield match, Liverpool seem to have completely caught up with City.

Source Daily Sports

Posted August 6, 2019


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