Nunez outperformed Haaland as he made an immediate impact for Jurgen Klopp’s team as they won the Community Shield 3-1, giving Liverpool the opening-round victory over Manchester City in the 2017 Premier League campaign.
Nunez came off the bench to win a penalty and score his first goal since moving to Manchester City for $75 million, while Erling Haaland had a disastrous start for the Premier League champions.
A thunderous goal from Trent Alexander-Arnold handed Liverpool a well-earned lead at the break against Leicester. But after the break, Julian Alvarez’s equalizer gave Pep Guardiola’s team a chance to get back in the game. The second significant piece of summer business for Liverpool was locking down Mohamed Salah to a new three-year contract, and the Egyptian was deadly from the spot after Nunez’s header was handled by Ruben Dias. The Uruguayan then had his own moment of glory by crouching to score in stoppage time and celebrating by ripping off his shirt.
With the victory, Liverpool won the customary season opener for the first time since 2006 and set the tone for what is anticipated to be yet another title race in the Premier League.
City had only participated in two preseason games compared to Liverpool’s four, and it took them 30 minutes to settle in. Adrian, a substitute goalkeeper for Liverpool, turned away Haaland’s initial shot on goal. The Norwegian, however, should have opened his City account a few seconds later as he mishandled Joao Cancelo’s enticing cross.
On the hour mark, Nunez was given the opportunity to shine, but he blew his first significant opportunity when Ederson won a one-on-one. On the flip side, City’s new South American striker had a successful debut season in England. Alvarez’s entry into the Etihad has escaped notice amid the hoopla surrounding Haaland. However, the Argentine is also considered as one of the most intriguing young forwards in the world after scoring six goals in one Copa Libertadores encounter in May.
Following Adrian stopped Phil Foden’s original shot, Alvarez was the first to react to the rebound, and the goal remained after a VAR review for offside.
Seven minutes from the end, another VAR intervention was necessary for Liverpool to regain the advantage. After watching a replay of Nunez’s header deflecting off Dias’ arm, referee Craig Pawson raised his flag. Ederson went the correct way, but Salah was still dangerous from 12 yards out as he blasted into the bottom corner. Nunez then put an end to any remaining uncertainty about the outcome by seizing on Andy Robertson’s header across goal.
However, City’s sad day did not finish there as Haaland missed the bar with the goal gaping in stoppage time, delaying the Norwegian footballing great from making his English league debut.