Jurgen Klopp reacted to the Community Shield victory over Manchester City by hailing Darwin Nunez and insisting Liverpool are ‘ready’ to challenge for all the trophies on offer.
The Reds beat City 3-1 at the King Power to lift the trophy for the 16th time in the club’s history. They took the lead in the 21st minute. Trent Alexander-Arnold beat Ederson with a first-time strike, with the help of a deflection off Nathan Ake.
And they went into the interval ahead as both Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne missed chances for Manchester City.
But it wasn’t plain sailing for Liverpool as Julian Alvarez stabbed home City’s equaliser in the 70th minute.
This goal knocked Liverpool back, but Nunez played a big role in getting them back in front. He linked up well with Mo Salah before connecting with the Egyptian’s cross and heading at goal. It came off Ruben Dias’ arm, allowing Salah the chance to score from the penalty spot.
And Liverpool’s talisman made no mistake, finding the bottom corner to make it 2-1 to Liverpool.
Nunez joined Alexander-Arnold and Salah on the scoresheet in stoppage time. He sent a diving header past Ederson after being set up by Andy Robertson.
City’s new signing Erling Haaland had the perfect opportunity to give City a lifeline in the final minute of injury time. But he managed to miss from just a few yards out by hitting a left-footed strike off the bar and over, and Liverpool’s win was confirmed seconds later.
During a post-match interview ITV Sport (via BBC Sport), Klopp praised Nunez for getting into ‘dangerous situations’. He also warned Liverpool’s competitors that the team is ‘ready’ for the new campaign.
“I liked the game a lot, but most of the time City games against us are cool to watch,” the manager said. “We don’t always win but they are entertaining.
“I was happy with our start of the game, but every sub made a difference. The boys are ready and it is good.
“We played the smarted passes. We saw Darwin Nunez in dangerous situations. He used the spaces and finished well, too.”
Community Shield win ‘means a lot’ – Liverpool star
During a post-match interview with ITV Sport, Alexander-Arnold explained why the Liverpool players are so happy about winning the trophy.
“This one means a lot as it’s the third time we’ve been in it. Our season started today and it was important for us to get off on the right foot,” he said.
On the quality of Nunez’s debut, Alexander-Arnold added: “It has got to be up there. He won the penalty, scored a goal and looked very lively. He has been bought in to score goals and he’s proved he can do that today.
“He’s a top player, a young player who is willing to learn. He’s bonded well with the lads. He came on with a point to prove.
“Who knows what will happen over the course of the season? Our aim is to be as fit as possible to push them from the very first kick. This was the perfect start and we hope to win trophies along the way.”