Manchester City and Liverpool played out a thrilling one-all draw in the season-opening Community Shield but it was Pep Guardiola’s men who eventually emerged winners on penalties.
Soccernet’s Imhons Erons x-rays the important lessons we can pick from the encounter ahead of the Premier League season.
Sterling is ready again
The Man City forward picked up from where he left off last season, scoring the opener, holding the ball well upfront and using his pace to stretch the Liverpool defence.
The former Liverpool attacker netted 17 goals in 34 appearances in the 2018/19 season and it seems he has not even been away at all.
With Sane’s future not yet decided with Bayern Munich secretly and publicly courting the German winger, Pep Guardiola can be rest assured that one of his pacy, productive attackers his ready for the season.
We are, sadly, seeing the last days of Silva
David Silva has been one of the best ever players the English Premier League has seen.
The Spaniard will be mentioned in the same breathe as Frank Lampard, Thierry Henry, Paul Scholes; players who engineered more than one league title triumphs for their clubs.
Surely, the oil-rich owners of Man City spent a fortune to get the Citizens to this top level, but they needed top-level players as well.
They don’t get any better than this diminutive World Cup winner.
Silva has been the one common theme in every league title City has celebrated this century.
On Sunday, however, he only lasted less than half an hour in the game for a team where is influence is gradually waning.
Pep Guardiola has capable replacements in Kelvin de Bruyne when the Spain international finally quits Man City but Silva will be missed by all – friends and foes alike.
Origi is not Mane
The Belgian forward played second fiddle to Liverpool’s deadly triumvate of Firmino, Mane and Salah for most part of the season.
Still his impact was telling and his contribution, significant as the Reds pursued the leaders till the last day of the season.
And when the story is told of Jurgen Klopp men’s remarkable UEFA Champions League triumph, many will remember that incredible comeback second leg win over Barcelona.
Divock Origi did not only score an early goal that rocked Barca, he also ran the defence ragged. Against Liverpool, however, he was tame, soft and sloppy.
That incisive drive and dribbling runs that Sadio Mane offer ever so often was missing from the man who recently signed a new contract to keep him on the bench.
On the evidence of today’s display, Origi will be spending more time on the bench whenever Mane is fit.
Man City are still the team to beat
The champions may have won the league last season by a single goal but that was the second time they would lift the league trophy in two years.
The team from the blue side of Manchester have been utterly dominant under Guardiola and Liverpool had to be near-perfect to stay close to them. On Sunday afternoon, Man City were the better team all round, dominant with the ball and dangerous without it.
Klopp’s side were not poor but City still should have won with a bigger margin if Sterling had been clinical enough.
Van Dijk is the best
Manchester United may have reportedly splashed the cash to make Leicester City’s Harry Maguire the most expensive defender in the world but there is only one who is the best center-back on the planet and that is the Dependable Dutchman
For the millionth time in his career, Virgil was strong in the heart of the defence, nullifying every danger Gabriel Jesus posed and still had enough in the tank to stroll upfield and provide the assist for the Reds’ equalizer.
Liverpool will yet again offer the biggest threat to Man City’s title ambitions and they will need all their best players on top form to wrestle the trophy from the holders.
Mane, Firmino and Salah obviously will need to be big again but so is the best defender in the world, Virgil van Dijk.