Jurgen Klopp may have attempted to avoid a shootout, a direct comparison between two attacking signings. Darwin Nunez’s debut was postponed while Erling Haaland started for Manchester City. Nonetheless, the Uruguayan finished his Liverpool debut by opening his account, making an explosive impact, and winning the Community Shield. It was an exciting start.
His 40 minutes of menace outlasted Haaland’s 90 minutes of impotence, which included a glaring miss in injury time. He clipped the crossbar, but with the goal so close, his 16th touch of the game was his worst.
The Norwegian was overshadowed not only by his Liverpool counterpart, but also by the other attacker City signed, Julian Alvarez, who capped his debut with a predatory goal, and the one Liverpool re-signed, Mohamed Salah, who restored Liverpool’s lead in his first game after signing the most lucrative contract in the club’s history.
Nunez was indirectly responsible for it. His appearance validated the description of an immediate impact. When he powered through, Ederson denied him a goal. He aimed a header just beyond a post. His aerial threat was obvious, and when Ruben Dias inadvertently handled his header in the box, the officials at first ignored it.
Following a review on the monitor, Craig Pawson awarded a penalty, which Salah drilled under Ederson. He already has one goal this season after scoring 31 last season, and he looked razor sharp: his habit of making flying starts to seasons could continue.
Despite the fact that he assisted Liverpool’s first goal and played a role in their third, Salah was given second billing. Nunez put the finishing touches on it after Andy Robertson headed it back across the area.
Three goals brought a third trophy of 2022, and while the FA Cup, Carabao Cup, and Community Shield are not the most prestigious of trebles, Klopp extended his record number of victories over Pep Guardiola to 11 and Liverpool looked more prepared for the season.