Liverpool left it late to secure a 3-1 win over Manchester City in the 100th Community Shield at the King Power Stadium.
New boy Julian Alvarez had initially cancelled out a stunning opener from Trent Alexander-Arnold, but Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez struck in the dying embers in front of the Reds faithful.
Liverpool looked the much fresher of the two sides in the early exchanges, and it only took 21 minutes for their dominance to pay off courtesy of Alexander-Arnold’s sublime first-time finish into the far corner from a good 20 yards.
With Alisson Becker and Caoimhin Kelleher sidelined, Liverpool’s third-choice goalkeeper was called into action to save from Erling Braut Haaland before the Norwegian’s acrobatic attempt from close range failed to come off.
Fans got to see a glimpse of Nunez and Alvarez on the King Power turf in the second half, and Liverpool fans wanted a penalty when the former went over following a challenge from Ederson, who got just enough of the ball.
However, it was City’s South American who would have the bigger impact, as Alvarez followed up on Phil Foden’s saved effort to poke home a 70th-minute equaliser, which was initially disallowed before a lengthy VAR check allowed those in sky blue to celebrate.
10 minutes later, Liverpool fans were the ones demanding the intervention of VAR after Nunez’s header struck Ruben Dias on the arm, and Craig Pawson awarded a penalty after checking the monitor. Salah stepped up and found the bottom corner to put Liverpool 2-1 ahead, despite Ederson going the right way.
Nunez missed a good chance to make it three for Liverpool in the 87th minute after heading wide from James Milner’s cross, but the Uruguay international made no mistake in second-half injury time, as his diving header nestled into the back of the net to wrap up an emphatic Liverpool win.
The new strikers were taking centre stage all afternoon, and there was time for Haaland to crash a late effort against the bar from only a few yards out before the celebrations started for Liverpool.