Jurgen Klopp would welcome the prospect of fresh investment at Liverpool, saying the Reds need to add "proven quality" to their squad.

Earlier this week, The Athletic reported Fenway Sports Group (FSG) were open to selling Liverpool, although the Reds' owners have since clarified they are simply willing to "consider new shareholders".

Klopp reaffirmed his own commitment to the club on Thursday, and has now said new investment would be a positive development if it enables his side to "take risks" in the transfer market.

"In the structure we had, we were obviously able to spend money, but we always had to look and say, 'what did we earn?' That was always the situation, it was clear," Klopp said at a pre-match news conference ahead of Liverpool's meeting with Southampton.

"The two biggest transfers we did in the past, with Ali [Alisson] and Virg [Van Dijk], we all know how it happened. 

"We got some money from Barcelona [for Philippe Coutinho] and spent it wisely, I would say.

"For me, how we did it so far brought us to where we are. But fresh money is no mistake, let me say it like this. Nothing gets cheaper, and not only because of the inflation rate. 

"Sometimes you have to spend. We are really happy to give all our young kids a chance, and I'm so positive about the impact they will have in the future. 

"But around it you have to, from time to time, throw in proven quality. In an ideal world, they are young as well, and not 35! So yes, from time to time, you have to take some risks, and we will see. 

"I have no idea what will happen, but I am positive about it. If in the end it is not positive, then I can start worrying, but I just think everything will be fine."

Jurgen Klopp says he remains "committed" to Liverpool amid rumours of Fenway Sports Group (FSG) potentially looking to sell the club.

The Reds beat Derby County on penalties after a goalless 90 minutes on Wednesday to reach the EFL Cup fourth round, but many of the questions after the match surrounded FSG's statement earlier in the week.

On Monday, The Athletic reported FSG was "inviting offers" to sell the club, but the Boston-based company later clarified they were willing to "consider new shareholders" while remaining "fully committed" to Liverpool.

When quizzed on whether a potential sale may affect his managerial position, Klopp told reporters: "For me it means nothing.

"Whatever happens, I really like how we work together with our owners, but if that would change, I'm committed to the club.

"As far as I know, they're looking for investors and I thought actually that makes sense.

"We work really close together with FSG. It was and is a great relationship until now and it will not change and whatever happens we will see and we will deal with it."

Asked whether the statement had any impact on his team's build-up to the game with Derby, Klopp replied: "No impact at all.

"It didn't distract the preparation at all. The players didn't ask me but if the players want to ask me, I can tell them everything."

When the press conference turned to events on the pitch, Klopp was effusive in his praise for backup goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher after his three shootout saves helped Liverpool see off League One Derby at Anfield.

Klopp made 11 changes from the weekend victory over Tottenham, and although Derby pushed his young side all the way to spot-kicks, Kelleher came up big to keep the holders' hopes of retaining the trophy alive.

Klopp was delighted for the 23-year-old after the match, saying: "We never hold him back, he is exceptional, absolutely exceptional.

"They were three really good penalties, they all go in the corner. He saved them anyway.

"He came back from holiday and was injured, it took a really long time to get him back to training and back to speed. But obviously he's ready now.

"He's a modern goalie, calm as you like, can play football and on top of that can catch balls and keep the ball out of the net in a really good manner. I'm over the moon for him."

A much-changed Liverpool side needed penalties to overcome League One Derby County after a goalless 90 minutes ended with the holders securing their place in the fourth round.

Jurgen Klopp made 11 alterations from the weekend's victory at Tottenham, and Derby held their own despite the 43-place disparity in league position.

The Rams' resistance made it all the way to the final whistle, but Caoimhin Kelleher saved three Derby penalties to see the Reds through.

Liverpool's escape keeps one of their best chances of silverware this season alive, with the Reds already 15 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal.


Mohamed Salah will go down as "one of the best strikers ever", according to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Salah scored twice at Tottenham to give Liverpool a 2-1 win in north London on Sunday, making it nine goals in his last eight appearances in all competitions.

The 30-year-old had a slow start to the campaign, with suggestions he was playing too wide, though he led the Premier League in chances created in the early weeks.

Speaking at a press conference after Liverpool's win, Klopp was effusive in his praise of his player, who seems to have rediscovered his scoring touch.

"Even with a 'slow start', he was involved in most chances in Europe, in football, but we didn’t take them or he didn't take them," he said. "That can happen for a striker, it's a completely normal phase.

"Everybody knows, when you look back on his career in four, five or six years, everybody will remember one of the best strikers you ever saw because the numbers will be absolutely insane.

"Tonight, what pleased me the most, he scored the two goals and then he played like a real, real team player. I am not surprised by it, but it is just important because he gets confronted with these questions as well... [I am] really pleased for him, top performance and showed an outstanding attitude tonight."

It was Liverpool's first away win in the Premier League this season at the sixth attempt (D2 L3), which led to Klopp letting off his signature fist-pumps to the away fans after the final whistle.

"Yeah. It was not my plan actually, I didn't want to do it but I got carried away and I thought the people deserved a little bit [after] tough times," he said. "[The fans] had now to travel a lot in the Premier League until they saw the first three points. So yeah, I got a bit carried away, but it was big, absolutely big.

"Before the final whistle I would not have been able to do that because I was really knackered, it was tough, a really tough game for everybody. Brilliant first half, a really, really good first half. Good football, controlled, top goals, world-class goals, and then we all know, Tottenham is coming back."

Harry Kane scored with 20 minutes remaining to make it a nervy finish for the Reds, but they were able to close it out and seal a much-needed three points.

Liverpool sit eighth in the Premier League after a stuttering start, but Klopp thinks his team can take a lot of positives from the nature of their win in the capital.

"Last year we nearly won all four competitions, but drew twice against Tottenham, so winning here is incredibly difficult," he added. "It is not about now that we have to play all the time like this or whatever. What we have to show is the attitude, the commitment to defending. That's what we have to show all of the time, definitely, 100 per cent.

"What we have to show is that we are not punched too hard when you concede a goal. I liked that tonight; I didn't want to concede a goal, but I thought the reaction afterwards was good... everybody was 100 per cent in and threw everything in and that's what I liked the most.

"You cannot be consistent by just playing all the time outstandingly well, it's all about showing the resilience we showed tonight. This is not the start or whatever, we are in a phase, we realised already and spoke about it, but for tonight we couldn't reach more than three points. We got them and that's massive."

Jurgen Klopp believes it is unfair to expect players to engage in political protests at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.

The decision to host the tournament in Qatar – where male homosexuality is illegal – has long been criticised due to concerns about the country's human rights record.

England's Harry Kane will be among eight European captains to wear a distinctive heart-adorned armband at the tournament, in order to raise awareness of the OneLove campaign against discrimination.

Meanwhile, tennis great Billie Jean King has called on players to act as "influencers" in Qatar, but Klopp believes handing down that level of responsibility is unjust.

"I understand 100 per cent that we talk about it," Liverpool manager Klopp told Sky News after receiving the Freedom of the City on Wednesday. 

"But it's not fair to talk now to the players and give responsibility to them, because it's more than 10 years ago that other people decided [to host the World Cup in Qatar], and we all accepted the decision.

"I watched documentaries recently about the election of Russia [in 2018] and Qatar, so it's not about this generation of players to say now that 'we don't go' or 'we don't do that'.

"These are the players. The tournament is in Qatar. The players go there and play the game. 

"The decision was made by other people and if you want to criticise anybody, then criticise the people who made the decision. Not the sport, not the competition and for sure, not the players. 

"It's not fair that we expect from them that they go there and make big political statements or whatever. It's just not fair."

Klopp did offer his support when asked about the OneLove campaign, but reiterated his belief players should not be expected to protest the initial decision to stage the tournament in Qatar.

He said: "That's absolutely fine, but what I don't like is that we expect them [the players] to do something. They go there to play football. The big tournament was organised and planned by other people."

Last week, Australia's players launched a campaign to highlight World Cup host Qatar’s human rights record.

Jurgen Klopp admitted he deserved to be sent off against Manchester City, but the Liverpool manager also aired his disappointment at the officiating during his team's 1-0 win at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah scored the only goal of a frenetic game on Sunday, latching onto a long pass from Alisson with 14 minutes remaining to finish past Ederson.

It was City's first Premier League defeat of the season, but the visitors were left frustrated when Phil Foden's second-half strike with the score at 0-0 was chalked off after referee Anthony Taylor was asked to look at the pitchside monitor by the video assistant referee, which showed Erling Haaland pulling over Fabinho in the build-up.

City boss Pep Guardiola and Klopp both showed frustration at Taylor's decisions through the game, with the latter shown a red card after objecting to a challenge on Salah with five minutes remaining going unpunished.

"Yeah, it's about emotion of course... red card, my fault," Klopp conceded at his post-match press conference.

"I went over the top in the moment, I don't think I was disrespectful to anybody but when you look at the pictures back – I know myself for 55 years that the way I look in these moments is already worth a red card.

"I lost it in that moment and that is not OK, but I think a little bit as an excuse I would like to mention, how can you not whistle that foul [on Salah]? How on earth is it possible? And I wish I could get an explanation.

"I don't know what Pep said now in here, probably not a lot, probably very disappointed or frustrated or whatever. But during the game we agreed completely that Anthony Taylor just let the things run. Why would you do that? Both teams, it was not one, but I heard now that people said it was Anfield that made the VAR decision [to disallow Foden's goal].

"With a foul on Mo, Anfield had no chance to make any impact. It's a foul on Fabinho, I think we agree on that. Is it not enough to pull somebody down?

"So there was already the first moment where Pep and I were pretty animated, both, but actually for the same reason to be 100 per cent honest. For the same reason, we were not arguing with each other, not at all.

"Then [the red card] situation, I just had the perfect view, and the linesman, and you can imagine we are 1-0 up and we have a free-kick there or a counter-attack there. That is pretty much a 100 per cent difference and that was when I snapped and again, I am not proud of that, but it happened."

One negative for Klopp was seeing Diogo Jota injured late on. The Portugal international has only recently returned from injury, but his manager did not sound hopeful, saying: "Diogo, I wish I wouldn't have to talk about it.

"When I saw he goes down and there was not a lot of contact, you can see a little bit that somebody kicks his foot and maybe the muscle got overstretched, [playing for] 96 minutes, that's not good for the muscle. He felt it immediately and now we have to wait to see how bad it is."

Klopp already had to make changes to his line-up due to injuries, with Ibrahima Konate missing out and James Milner starting at right-back, meaning Joe Gomez moved back into the middle of the defence.

The 25-year-old helped to keep Haaland and company quiet, and Klopp praised his "outstanding talent", along with Milner's efforts.

"It's just great for Joey that he can show what a player he is," he said. "Outstanding, outstanding talent, a great player and can play different positions, obviously.

"Today was sensational, a mature performance together with Virgil [van Dijk] and the two full-backs.

"I'd like to mention – and it's fine, Joey deserves all the praise – but I am pretty sure before the game a lot of people thought, 'Oh, James Milner against Phil Foden.' The way James Milner played was absolutely unbelievable. Joey as well."

Jurgen Klopp has effectively conceded defeat in the Premier League title race following Liverpool's underwhelming start to the season.

The Reds went into the weekend ninth in the table and will finish Sunday in the bottom half if they lose to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Klopp's side have taken just 10 points from their opening seven league outings, winning only twice, and neither of those wins were in their three away games.

Not since the 2010-11 season under Roy Hodgson have the Reds failed to win any of their first four matches away from Anfield in the league.

They will do well to beat an Arsenal side who have won seven out of a possible eight fixtures to this point.

Despite Arsenal's strong start, Manchester City are most people's strong favourites for the title, particularly given Erling Haaland's form.

Even if Liverpool win at Arsenal, they will need to make up a 10-point deficit on City – whom they face next weekend – and Klopp seemed to accept that is not going to happen.

"We still have the chance to create something really special from this point," he said ahead of the game.

"Does it look at the moment that we will be champions at the end of the year? Unfortunately not."

Klopp added: "But in all other competitions we're not out yet.

"Nobody knows where we will end up in the league yet so let's just give it a go, that's it.

"Difficult? Yes. Impossible? No. That's enough. So let's just go from here.

"Did I think we'd be ninth after matchday seven? No, but this is the base where are now and we must go from here."

Liverpool have won their previous four league matches against Arsenal, but they have never beaten the Gunners fives times in a row.

Jurgen Klopp hopes Mohamed Salah is close to "exploding" into a rich vein of goalscoring form, but believes comparisons with Manchester City talisman Erling Haaland are unfair.

Salah shared the Premier League's Golden Boot with Son Heung-min after scoring 23 goals in the competition last term, but has only found the net twice in seven outings this season.

The Egyptian's diminishing returns have mirrored those of his team, with Liverpool sitting 13 points behind City – with a game in hand – ahead of Sunday's trip to Arsenal.

Haaland's arrival has taken City to new heights this campaign, with the Norwegian hitting 15 goals in his first nine Premier League games, and Klopp believes any comparisons with Salah would be unhelpful.

"With Mo, I hope it's like us, we are close to exploding," Klopp said. "Whose season was it yet? From our side, nobody.

"Mo is like this, even when his goalscoring numbers aren't crazy, often he's involved, it's just the problem that if you don't score around that, nobody appreciates that.

"Nobody in the world can cope with the [Erling] Haaland situation, it's crazy what he's doing. 

"He's an exceptional player in an exceptional team and I don't think we should compare anyone with that at the moment.

"Mo wants to score goals desperately, 100 per cent, that will never change. Call him in 20 years, it will be the same."

Liverpool approach their trip to the Emirates Stadium having recorded two draws and one defeat in their first three away outings of the Premier League campaign.

Not since 2010-11, under Roy Hodgson, have Liverpool failed to win any of their first four away league games in a single season.

Meanwhile, Saturday represented the seventh anniversary of Klopp's appointment at Liverpool, and the German left each of his two previous posts – at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund – before bringing up an eighth year at the helm.

Klopp, however, insisted Liverpool's struggles have nothing in common with those of his former clubs, saying: "The situation in the clubs was very different. 

"A seven-year spell was not planned or because I lost energy or these things. I was manager at Mainz and after three years, we got promoted to the Bundesliga then three years later we got relegated.

"We tried one more year and the club needed a change. Players left us for the Bundesliga, so they needed a fresh start, definitely.

"I was full of energy. I went directly to Dortmund and it was all fine. [It was] seven years and it was just a situation that players constantly got bought by other clubs.

"It was a really hard job to do, instead of developing a team, constantly making two steps back. It was really intense and really exhausting.  

"I can understand that I left after seven years, and now we are in a difficult situation, but, if you think twice about it, you realise the situation is completely different.

"Being here for seven years is intense, no doubt about it. But it's nice as well, I got so many things back. If there's one club that has a chance to go through it together, it's us."

Jurgen Klopp says there are no "instant" solutions in football as Liverpool look to bounce back ahead of their Champions League clash with Rangers.

The Reds failed to turn their rough form around upon their return to Premier League action this weekend when they were held to a 3-3 draw by Brighton and Hove Albion.

With just one win in their last four games across all competitions, Klopp's side - FA Cup and EFL Cup winners last term as well as Champions League finalists - risk falling short on multiple fronts this term.

But the German feels his side will be able to work out their problems, stating they must "go back to the basics" and that they cannot expect an immediate revival of fortunes.

"We realised after Napoli it was a real low point, and we had to change things quickly," he stated. "We didn't play Wolves, played Ajax, then didn't play Chelsea and couldn't keep up any momentum from the Ajax win."

"When you spot a problem and think you have the solution, you expect the solution to be instant and influential, that's never the case in football.

"When it doesn't work out, you realise step by step that you have to go back to the basics. We have to be patient again to do the right thing, and then we will be fine again."

Liverpool's mixed form has made it hard for new signing Darwin Nunez to have the desired impact after an early season red card, but Klopp is unconcerned over the forward's personal attributes.

"He is still adapting," he added. "New players come in and everybody talks about them and wants them to shine immediately and that happens from time to time.

"We had a long talk yesterday and we told him we are completely calm. It's really important in our situation that he isn't worrying. The three-game suspension didn't help him to settle, that's clear.

"The team isn't flying and that doesn't make it easier for a striker, especially a finisher. It's not that everything is clicking, that is not our situation at the moment."

Jurgen Klopp jokingly ordered his Liverpool players to pay him as much attention as they paid Steve Kerr when the Golden State Warriors coach visited the Reds' training ground.

Kerr won five NBA championships as a player and has been crowned a winner four times as a coach, with the Warriors defeating the Boston Celtics to claim victory in the 2022 NBA Finals.

The American also guided Golden State to 73 wins in the 2015-16 season, breaking the record for the most wins in an NBA campaign.

Kerr took the chance to visit Liverpool's Kirkby base during his off-season, meeting the players and coaching staff after he watched over their training session.

While coaching methods and man-management styles may have been expected to be discussed, Klopp revealed no such conversations took place between the two top bosses.

"We didn't have this kind of conversation, to be honest," Klopp said, when asked if there was a coaching element to their talks. "We had a very private conversation."

Klopp's players, who play Newcastle United on Wednesday, were so awestruck in the presence of Kerr that their German boss hoped they could show as much interest when he addresses them.

"A fantastic guy. It was a pleasure to meet him," Klopp said. "I took a picture when he spoke to a couple of the players and said to the boys, 'If you looked one time as concentrated when I talk to you, it would be really cool'.

"I told him what we were doing. The training grounds for football and basketball look slightly different and he liked everything that he saw.

"The one moment I was really, really happy I didn't become a basketball coach was when he said he has to do press every day. Wow. That would be a killer. But he has a four-month break."

Klopp added: "He is one of the greatest in the game – absolutely outstanding. You can be seen as big as you want in public. Smart people stay still, are very grounded and are just good people. It was a real pleasure to meet them."

Jurgen Klopp cannot wait for the challenge that awaits Liverpool in their "incredibly competitive and intense" Champions League group.

The Reds are looking to go one better in Europe's premier club competition this season, after losing 1-0 to Real Madrid in last year's final at Stade de France.

Liverpool were placed in Group A during Thursday's draw in Istanbul, alongside Ajax, Napoli and Rangers, who return to the group stages after a 12-year absence.

Klopp expects "a proper, proper challenge" in the group stages of UEFA's flagship club competition, though he is relishing the upcoming task.

"The first thing to say is this is a proper, proper challenge," the Liverpool manager told the club's official website. "All of the clubs have quality, they all have pedigree and I would say they all have a chance.

"The good thing is that we do also, so it makes sense for us to look forward to the challenge and give it a try.

"We did not ask for any favours and we have not been given any, but this is not a competition where you can look for easy ways through because the standard is always unbelievably high.

"The difference this year is that the group stage will be shorter than usual, so we will have to be ready not just for the quality of the opposition, but also for the different demands and rhythms.

"The only certainty right now is that all of the six games will be incredibly competitive and really intense. I'm excited about it. It is a proper football group and, like I said, a proper challenge."

English football had a very different landscape in October 2010 when Fenway Sports Group won a court case to buy Liverpool.

The Reds had not won a league title in over 20 years, had lifted just two trophies in the previous nine, and had finished seventh in the Premier League the previous season.

Meanwhile, Manchester United would go on to win their 12th Premier League title at the end of the 2010-11 season, their 19th league win at the time, taking them one ahead of Liverpool overall.

The Merseyside club had allowed itself to drift and needed to learn lessons from their fiercest rivals.

When Tom Hicks and George Gillett bought Liverpool from David Moores in 2007, they brought with them promise of investment that should have enabled the club to finally catch up with United.

The Red Devils had timed their period of dominance perfectly, with the birth of the Premier League seeing an explosion in money and interest in the English game, and the combination of ambition, stability under Alex Ferguson and numerous smart decisions on and off the pitch cemented United as leaders domestically, while Liverpool struggled to keep up.

However, despite promises of a new stadium and backing of then manager Rafael Benitez, with Gillett famously saying: "If Rafa said he wanted to buy Snoogy Doogy, we would back him", initial investment dropped off quickly, before it became apparent that the American duo were more interested in taking money out of the club than putting it in.

A dramatic few days at the High Court in London essentially kept Liverpool from going under as Hicks and Gillett were forced to sell up, and a bright new dawn appeared to have arrived with the purchase by FSG (then known as New England Sports Ventures).

Having successfully turned around the fortunes of the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball, Liverpool's new owners set about trying to put in place the building blocks to do the same in English football.

Struggling manager Roy Hodgson was swiftly dismissed and replaced by club legend Kenny Dalglish, while Damien Comolli was appointed as director of football strategy, tasked with using the fabled 'moneyball' approach made famous in baseball, to the extent it was later made into a Hollywood film starring Brad Pitt.

It was indicative of the hit-and-miss nature of the approach in its early stages that the first two major investments were Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll, with one an undoubted success and the other a spectacular failure.

The strategy was adjusted after their first pre-season transfer window when significant money was spent on players who, on paper, were undervalued, but proved to still be overpriced in Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam, while a young Jordan Henderson had too much expected of him too soon.

Initial promise under Dalglish disappeared in the new owners' first full season in charge, with an eighth-place finish in the league, though reaching both domestic cup finals was not to be sniffed at, winning the EFL Cup against Cardiff City.

Dalglish always felt like a short-term stop gap to appease the fans and give FSG time to get to know the sport better, and their appointment of Brendan Rodgers in 2013 felt like the first that truly had their stamp on it.

Rodgers implemented a new style of play, and in his second season, very nearly won that elusive Premier League title, but fell agonisingly short.

Losing Suarez to Barcelona at the end of that campaign did not help matters, but worse still, the club's inability to replace him even slightly adequately – buying Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli – set them back further still.


When Liverpool lost 6-1 away to Stoke City on the final day of the 2014-15 season, it felt like all the hard work up until then had been undone, and on top of all that, club legend Steven Gerrard was retiring.

FSG had set up a transfer committee of sorts, with the idea that several heads were better than one, recruiting scouts Barry Hunter and Dave Fallows from Manchester City, and appointing Michael Edwards as technical director.

Rodgers did not seem to like working under those conditions, and a bizarre compromise appeared to be made in 2015 whereby the transfer committee would get to decide on one signing, such as Roberto Firmino, while Rodgers was allowed to decide on another, such as Christian Benteke.

It became apparent early in the 2015-16 season that this would not work, and so Rodgers was replaced by Jurgen Klopp, the man FSG had wanted before the Northern Irishman only to be turned down by the then Borussia Dortmund head coach.

Since then, everyone at Liverpool has pulled in the same direction, which has led to almost every major decision made being a correct one.

It has also caused the trophy cabinet to fill up again, with a Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup all being collected since the start of the 2018-19 season.

Their hit rate in the transfer market has been the envy of all major clubs, with the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Alisson all coming in to significantly strengthen the team in recent years.

There has also been efficient continuity behind the scenes, with Edwards promoted to sporting director in 2016 and overseeing so much success in transfer dealings, and his exit at the end of last season saw Julian Ward replace him, having worked under Edwards, being prepared to pick up where he left off.

Naby Keita is arguably the only major signing since Klopp’s arrival that has not been a roaring success, and even the Guinea midfielders' struggles could be put down to his unfortunate injury issues.


By comparison, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher looked at United’s signings since 2013 on the most recent edition of Monday Night Football and came to the conclusion that only two of the 33 players listed could be considered successes (Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Bruno Fernandes).

United fans have been vocal in recent years around their opposition to the club's owners, the Glazer family, believing their own American custodians taking money out of the club has been stymying the ability to have success on the pitch.

The giants of English football that won 13 of the first 21 Premier League titles have not won any of the last nine since Ferguson's retirement in 2013, and have only lifted three trophies in that period.

There has still been significant investment on the pitch, in fact, far more than there has been at Liverpool.

Since FSG arrived in 2010, according to figures from Transfermarkt, with the addition of Casemiro from Real Madrid, United have spent over £1.47billion on players, with a net spend of around £1.08bn.

Liverpool have also spent plenty, with £1.12bn going out on players, but having made significantly more than their rivals in player sales, have a net spent in almost 12 years of just over £400m.

The key difference has been the intelligence of decisions being made rather than money being invested, which is where United need to focus to try and claw their way back towards the top again.

Their meeting on Monday actually sees both teams seeking their first wins of the season, but prospects at Liverpool still seem infinitely better whatever the outcome at Old Trafford.

It is surely now time for United to start learning lessons from Liverpool.

"They're not used to Erling's natural runs yet, like we're not used to Darwin's. They'll need some time for Erling, but that doesn't mean he can't score."

Jurgen Klopp's assessment of Erling Haaland and Manchester City on Friday could easily have gone against the Liverpool manager.

After all, add in a great goalscorer to an already great team and surely the result can only be more greatness? But in   Saturday's Community Shield game – taking place at Leicester City's King Power Stadium – Klopp's words rang true, and instead it was City's Julian Alvarez and Liverpool's Darwin Nunez who each made their mark.

Liverpool ran out the victors in this latest instalment of English football's new number one rivalry, as City lost the season's curtain-raiser for a second successive year. It was new signing Nunez – named as a substitute when Haaland had been given the nod from the off for the Reds' opponents – who added gloss in a 3-1 victory that makes it advantage Klopp in the rivalry stakes for the coming season.

It was easy to forget, due to the vociferous atmosphere emanating from both ends, that this match amounts to what is essentially an exhibition, even if Pep Guardiola has often cited the Community Shield as a major trophy – one that Klopp had not previously won.

The intensity in the stands was matched by the players, especially in one spell midway through the first half when the tenacious Bernardo Silva sparked a flurry of robust tackles in midfield.

Liverpool dominated the opening stages, enjoying 57 per cent possession in the first 15 minutes and going close through Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson.


It has been an off-season of change for City. Kalvin Phillips and Alvarez have joined Haaland through the door, but Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko have left, and a lack of fluidity to the Premier League champions' play was noticeable as they laboured to get out of first gear.

There was a moment prior to Trent Alexander-Arnold's 21st-minute opener, when Kevin De Bruyne spun clear of his marker and Haaland looked all set to burst through and square up Liverpool's stand-in goalkeeper Adrian, yet the Belgian's pass was just too close to Virgil van Dijk.

That summed up a hugely frustrating first half for City's new number nine, who only had three touches prior to the half-hour mark, all of which came in his own half.

Alexander-Arnold's strike, his 10th Reds goal from outside the area, led to red smoke bombs being thrown onto the pitch from a jubilant Liverpool end, and City at that stage looked punch-drunk.

Then, the chances came. First, Haaland drilled at Adrian while off-balance, before he just failed to get proper purchase on a cross from the left – Riyad Mahrez heading into Adrian's arms on the rebound.

In normal pre-season circumstances, Guardiola might well have taken Haaland off when he made his first changes just before the hour, but it was instead Mahrez and Jack Grealish who made way for Alvarez and Phil Foden. At the same time, Klopp introduced Nunez for his domestic bow.

Nunez's impact was near-instant, getting in behind City's line and drawing a desperate lunge from Ederson in the area, but the linesman flagged for offside rather than a Liverpool penalty. Soon after, City's goalkeeper made a brave stop to deny the former Benfica forward.

Where one substitute went close, another then hit the net. In an interview in the matchday programme, Alvarez insisted his focus was not on matching Haaland, but instead on improving his own game. It was the Argentine forward who bundled in City's equaliser after Phil Foden forced Adrian into a save, with VAR overturning an incorrect offside call.

If City and Haaland might need time to gel fully, then the opposite should be true for Alvarez, who was a livewire from the moment he came on, becoming the third Argentinian to score in the Community Shield, after former City strikers Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.

Though where VAR had come to City's aid for Alvarez's goal, it helped Liverpool 10 minutes later, when a Nunez header struck the arm of Ruben Dias, which referee Craig Pawson deemed to have been in an unnatural position upon checking the screen.

For all the talk of new striker signings at both club, it was perhaps fitting that a familiar face in Salah stepped up for the penalty to remind everyone involved of his quality with a firm finish into the bottom-right corner.

Arguably the most important business Liverpool could have done in the close season was their July 1 move to tie Salah down to a new contract, and the 30-year-old has been directly involved in 13 goals for Liverpool against City, his most against a single side for the Reds.

Haaland had the ball in the net at the other end early in seven minutes of stoppage time, but it did not count – Foden had failed to keep it in. Moments later, Nunez stooped low to head in Robertson's cross. He is the fourth player to have scored on his competitive Liverpool debut under Klopp, after Salah, Van Dijk and Salah.

If there was any further evidence needed that this day would not be Haaland's, the 22-year-old hit the crossbar with the goal gaping with very nearly the last kick of the match to send Liverpool's fans into further delirium. It was the best chance of the match from open play, with an xG (expected goals) rating of 0.54. He was at least able to laugh it off as a bad day at the office, but goalscorers as prolific as him do not take misses like that well.

The former Borussia Dortmund player had just 16 touches over the 90 minutes.

Haaland's day will come, perhaps even against West Ham in City's Premier League opener, but on Saturday's evidence, Liverpool have adapted to their new striker swifter than their great rivals have theirs.


Darwin Nunez capped a memorable debut with a clinching header as Liverpool earned a 3-1 victory against Manchester City in the Community Shield.

The Uruguay international nodded home from close range deep into injury time to confirm the first silverware of the season heads to Merseyside after an energetic, enthralling encounter at Leicester's King Power Stadium.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's first-half strike had been cancelled out by Julian Alvarez with 20 minutes to go, before Mohamed Salah put the Reds back on top from the penalty spot.

It was then Nunez whose goal made sure Jurgen Klopp completed his career clean sweep of elite English domestic honours.

The new man was forced to wait for his debut, however, after being initially named on the bench, and Liverpool did not look to need him thanks to an energetic start out of the gates.

Alexander-Arnold unfurled a fabulous strike from the edge of the box in off the left post in the 21st minute, while miscued chances for City's star buy Erling Haaland left Pep Guardiola with a frustrating first half on his hands.

The introduction of Argentina star Alvarez from the bench proved an inspired move by Spaniard Guardiola, with the former River Plate man flicking home after Phil Foden's saved effort to level matters.

But when Ruben Dias was flagged for a handball from Nunez's header with full-time fast approaching, Salah was able to put the Reds back on top with his low spot-kick.

Nunez's big moment in stoppage time confirmed the result, while Haaland hit the crossbar in the dying moments to sum up his tough day at the office.

Erling Haaland was named in Manchester City's starting line-up for the Community Shield clash with rivals Liverpool, who had Darwin Nunez on the bench.

Haaland joined City from Borussia Dortmund last month in what has been a busy transfer window for the Premier League champions.

The Norway striker scored his first goal for the club in a pre-season friendly win over Bayern Munich and Pep Guardiola has selected him to start in the traditional curtain-raiser for the English season, which is being played at Leicester City's King Power Stadium this year.

Haaland will play down the middle, flanked by Jack Grealish and former Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez.

Nathan Ake - linked with a move away from City in recent weeks - partners captain Ruben Dias at the back, with Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Rodri selected in midfield. Kalvin Phillips and Julian Alvarez, City's other new signings, had to settle for a place on the bench.

Nunez has been the big-money arrival at Liverpool this transfer window, but the former Benfica star was named among Jurgen Klopp's substitutes.

With goalkeeper Alisson injured, Adrian was handed a rare start for the FA Cup winners, who have Roberto Firmino leading an attacking three that also includes Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz.

Saturday's encounter marks just the second Community Shield game between City and Liverpool, with Guardiola's side winning on penalties in 2019.

It is the first time the Community Shield has been held away from Wembley since 2012, when City beat Chelsea 3-2 at Villa Park.

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