Man City ratings as Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva shine against Liverpool

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Manchester City edged out last season’s title rivals Liverpool 5-4 on penalties to open the new domestic campaign with victory in the Community Shield.

The two teams were separated by just one point in the Premier League last term and it took a shootout to split them in the season opener at Wembley as it was 1-1 after 90 minutes.

Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made the decisive intervention, saving Liverpool’s second penalty from Georginio Wijnaldum.

City had led for most of normal time after former Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling scored against his old club for the first time in the 12th minute.

Champions League winners Liverpool responded well and went close several times before substitute Joel Matip levelled 13 minutes from time.

MANCHESTER CITY

Claudio Bravo: Had one first-half save of note to make from Firmino. Did his utmost to prevent Salah from scoring on several occasions. 7

Kyle Walker: Had Origi well covered and when he did not had the pace to recover. Added-time goalline clearance prevented certain Salah goal. 7

John Stones: Steady performance from the centre-back, although found the going tougher when pressed in the second half. 6

Nicolas Otamendi: Found Firmino’s movement and touch tricky to handle. Did not look comfortable. 5

Oleksandr Zinchenko: Given a serious test by Salah and not one he looked entirely capable of dealing with. 5

Rodrigo: Held things together on his first experience of English football. Made some good tackles. 6

Kevin De Bruyne: Found his passing range early on and seemed to have more space than most in a crowded midfield. Could not quite find the killer pass to finish off Liverpool. 7

David Silva: Usual tidy work with the ball but probably not at his penetrative, influential best. 6

Bernardo Silva: Lively outlet down the right, keeping the usually marauding Robertson in his place. Appears to have carried over last season’s form matched by his incredible work-rate. 7

Raheem Sterling: Impressive opening. In the right place to score opening goal and was even more threatening when moved to his more familiar wide left role. Wasted a brilliant one-on-one in second half. 7

Leroy Sane: Shot into the side-netting when he should have hit the target. Knee injury forced substitution after just 13 minutes. 4

Substitutes

Gabriel Jesus (for Sane, 13): Lacked the early threat Sterling posed in the central role. Looked off the pace having only rejoined training this week. 4

Ilkay Gundogan (for David Silva, 60): Introduced at a time when the tide was turning and found it difficult to gain a foothold. 5

Phil Foden (for De Bruyne, 89): No time to make a difference. 4

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Pep Guardiola insists Man City could not afford Harry Maguire

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Pep Guardiola says Manchester City could not afford Harry Maguire and believes the defender can help rivals Manchester United mount a Premier League title challenge.

England international Maguire is on the verge of moving to Old Trafford from Leicester for a fee in the region of £80million.

United finished 32 points adrift of champions City last season but Guardiola expects Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to close the gap and be one of “many, many contenders” this term.

“Maguire is an excellent, top-class player,” said the City boss after beating Liverpool on penalties to lift the Community Shield.

“We were interested but we could not afford it. United afforded it.

“He’s an excellent player, he made an incredible World Cup (in 2018), he’s strong in the air, good with the ball in the build-up and he’s so fast.

Maguire

“Congratulations for United for this signing.

“I don’t know if it will be like last season, two real contenders – Liverpool and us – to win the Premier League.

“I think United with Maguire and the other players they bought, Arsenal as well, and Chelsea, and Tottenham that they won all the pre-season so I think there will be many, many contenders this time.”

Having pipped Liverpool to top spot last season by a single point, City secured a 5-4 shootout success over Jurgen Klopp’s men on Sunday.

Claudio Bravo’s save from Georginio Wijnaldum proved decisive at Wembley after Joel Matip’s second-half header cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s opener in a 1-1 draw.

Guardiola admits there remains little between the two teams.

“They are a top-class team and the difference is one point ahead and one penalty ahead, that is the difference. It’s minor,” he said.

“Sometimes the coin can come on your side, sometimes it cannot so that is why it’s good to face them to see how well prepared we have to be to try to win the title.”

European champions Liverpool arguably had the better of the chances in London and struck the frame of the goal twice before equalising.

Despite the result, Reds boss Klopp felt his side’s attacking intent bodes well for the upcoming campaign, which starts at home to newly-promoted Norwich on Friday.

“Football-wise, the second half was just really, really good, the best way you can play against City,” said the German.

“They are in the early stages as well, they will be in a different shape in a couple of weeks, for sure.

“But having this amount of chances we had is a very good sign for us, absolutely.”

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Arsenal ratings v Barcelona as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang earns a 9 while Granit Xhaka gets 5

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Arsenal’s final pre-season friendly ended in a 2-1 defeat against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang produced a spectacular finish to power the Gunners into the lead but miscommunication between Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bernd Leno forced an own-goal under the former’s name. Luis Suarez came off the bench to score the winner in the dying moments of the game with an acrobatic finish.

We take a look at how the Arsenal players performed.

Bernd Leno – Hardly tested, most of Barcelona’s shots in the first half were directed at him. Deserves a small chunk of the blame for the own-goal. 5

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – An own-goal ruined what was a sensational defensive performance in the first half. 6

Calum Chambers – Did well to hold the fort in times of persistent attacking moves by Barcelona. One of the best players in an Arsenal shirt. 8

Sokratis – Solid defensive performance, managed to keep Antoine Griezmann out of the game. 7

Nacho Monreal – Had trouble dealing with the duo of Ousmane Dembele and Nelson Semedo and could have added more in attack. 5

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Positioned narrower than usual, should have done better in the central midfield position. 6

Granit Xhaka – Poor display from the Switzerland international, outplayed by other midfielders around him. 5

Joe Willock – Promising display in by the youngster, linked well with his team-mates. 7

Nelson – Produced promising moments at times, but no stand-out end-product. 6

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Scored with a spectacular finish, tracked back to defend during lengthy spells of Barcelona possession. 9

Mesut Ozil – Switched play well and produced some dangerous passes including the assist to Aubameyang. 8

Substitutes

Matteo Guendouzi – Great work-rate, provided exactly what Arsenal needed amid huge spells of Barcelona possession. 7

Sead Kolasinac – Involved in an interesting contest with Moussa Wague which mostly ended 50-50, producing no winner. 6

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