Liverpool won the first title of the new 2022/23 football season as the Reds beat defending Premier League champions Manchester City 3-1 courtesy of a first half goal from Trent Alexander-Arnold and two late goals. A penalty from Mohamed Salah in the 83rd minute after Julian Alvarez poked City’s equaliser and Darwin Nunez’s first competitive goal, in the 94th minute for the Reds put the gloss on the victory.
Jurgen Klopp thus got his hand on the one remaining local trophy since he moved to Liverpool in 2015 and the Reds for the first time since 2006. Liverpool started without first choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker while Pep Guardiola named new recruit Kalvin Phillips, John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan, and Phil Foden on the bench.
Mohamed Salah created the first scoring chance of the game in the fourth minute when he waltzed past Joao Cancelo but his shot went into the side netting. While City have controlled possession, Liverpool have gone direct, thereby breaking through the City press.
Andy Robertson should have done better with a headed chance in the 14th minute but he also found the side netting.
In the 19th meeting, Jordan Henderson’s cross almost found Roberto Firmino in the box but Ederson got fingertips to deflect away the danger.
Two minutes later, Liverpool went ahead after some concerted play on the edge of the City box. Salah found Alexander-Arnold on the edge and the Liverpool right back’s shot took a nick of Nathan Ake’s head to nestle in the far post.
City’s new No.9 Erling Harland got two quick chances in the 34th minute but his first shot was well saved by Adrian but seconds later Bernardo Silva put in a cross that he should have tried to get his head on it but he went with his left foot. Chance missed.
There was a penalty shout as Riyad Mahrez was bundled to the ground by Thiago but referee Craig Pawson waved play on.
The second half began with City on top and they almost got an immediate riposte from Mahrez but his scuffed effort was parried away from danger. Five minutes into the second half, Liverpool were back on top and Guardiola had to make two changes.
Mahrez and Grealish were pulled off for Foden and summer signing Julian Alvarez. The City substitute Alvarez poked home from close range in the 70th minute after Adrian was robbed by Foden. There was a VAR check but it was given. That was Alvarez’s first goal for City.
The match was now in the balance as Klopp sent on Milner for Henderson and Harvey Elliott replaced the goal scorer Alexander-Arnold.
Another substitute, this time a Red won the penalty that ultimately won the game. A cost from Salah was headed by Nunez unto Ruben Dias’ outstretched right hand and after another VAR check, the penalty was awarded.
Salah stepped up and fired past Ederson for the winning goal. Robertson won the ball off Bernardo Silva in the 87th minute and he chose to shoot when Salah and Luis Diaz were in space in the box. Nunez got the goal his play deserved with a stooping header in the 94th after a great headed knock down from Robertson.
Haaland still had a chance to get one back from City but the former Borussia Dortmund smashed his shot off the crossbar in the last minute. Guardiola has some worries but not so much as the season begins next weekend.