For those who were expecting a walk in the park in this new season curtain opener, it was a pleasant surprise. Both teams went at each other for a full 90 minutes and in the end, it took penalties to separate the two best teams in the Premier League at the moment.
Right from the off, you could tell that the Man City and Liverpool players were taking this seriously. Salah attacked the space whenever he had the ball at his feet and he came close a few times throughout the game, hitting the post but was not able to find the net with Bravo on top of his game.
Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane did the same for Manchester City until Sane had to come off due to an injury early on in the game after getting tangled with Trent Alexander Arnold. Not that Man City were affected much by that as on came Gabriel Jesus, a more than able replacement. It does complicate matters in terms of a transfer for Leroy Sane though, given the rumours that Bayern Munich wanted him and he kinda wanted to join them.
The screws finally came off for Liverpool’s defiant defence in the 12th minute when Raheem Sterling somehow found a way past Alisson with a weak left foot finish which somehow managed to squirm over the line.
More of the same attacking intent was on show in the second half, with Liverpool having the bulk of the possession and chances. Whatever Jurgen Klopp said at half time seemed to work. It still looked as though Manchester City will triumph though until Virgil Van Dijk turned provider and lobbed a cross for Matip to head home from close range in the 77th minute.
There was still time for an acrobatic goal line clearance by Kyle Walker from a Salah effort but nothing could separate the two teams at full time and Bravo became the hero by keeping out Wijnaldum’s spot kick to ensure that they ran out 5-4 winners on penalties.
Manchester City celebrate their first trophy before the season starts and the rest of the Premier League watched in awe as the two best teams showed that they are not resting on their laurels. Game on.
Gary Yang is a myActiveSG Editor and Presenter. Gary started his career as a suit cum copywriter at an advertising agency, followed by a successful stint in Corporate Communications with Singapore Press Holdings and Asia Pacific Breweries, before eventually joining the editorial team at Sport Singapore. He now turns his attention to fitness and wellness headlines and sniffing out news angles in the sporting arena.