London: After completing a clean sweep of domestic trophies last season, Manchester City opened the new campaign by lifting the Community Shield following a shoot-out victory over Liverpool on Sunday.
City netted all five penalties — the last by Gabriel Jesus — and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made a key save to deny Georginio Wijnaldum’s attempt in a 5-4 shoot-out win after the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season ended 1-1 in regulation time.
City opened last season by lifting the Shield and went on to win the FA Cup, League Cup and Premier League — edging Liverpool to that title by a single point.
Liverpool, which won the Champions League for a sixth time last season, won only one of seven pre-season games before losing to City at Wembley Stadium.
Raheem Sterling took 12 minutes to pick up where he left off for City at Wembley in May when he completed a 5-0 victory over Watford in the a Cup final.
Kevin De Bruyne nodded across to David Silva, who flicked the ball on for Sterling to turn in from close range. It was Sterling’s first goal against the club he left four years ago and he didn’t hold back in celebrating in front of the Liverpool fans closest to the goal.
Liverpool was not only exposed in defence but wasteful up front and twice denied by the goal frame after the break when Virgin van Dijk hit the bar and Mohamed Salah struck the post.
But City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was beaten in the 77th minute when two defenders combined.
Van Dijk brought down Jordan Henderson’s free kick and volleyed across to Joel Matip who headed low into the net.
Liverpool was denied a winner in regulation time when Salah’s header beat Bravo but Kyle Walker scrambled back to clear from the goal-line.
For a game focused on raising money for good causes there was a significant amount of ill-feeling at Wembley.
The club anthems were booed by opposing fans, then the national anthem — “God Save The Queen” — was jeered by Liverpool supporters.
During the game, City manager Pep Guardiola was incensed when Joe Gomez launched a high challenge on David Silva — demonstrating the action with his own right foot.
Continuing to remonstrate on the field, delaying the resumption of the game, Guardiola was shown a yellow card as referee Martin Atkinson applied the new law.
Earlier, Connor Goldson ensured Rangers kicked off their Scottish Premiership campaign with win as his late header ensured a 2-1 victory at Kilmarnock.
Steven Gerrard’s team lost on both of their league visits to Ayrshire last season and looked set for more frustration as Stephen O’Donnell cancelled out Scott Arfield’s early opener in the 83rd minute.
But Goldson crashed home a header in stoppage time to inflict more agony on new Killie boss Angelo Alessio, whose side were humbled in the Europa League by part-timers Connah’s Quay Nomads last month.
“We’re obviously delighted with how it’s finished, it’s a big three points for us,” Gerrard told Sky Sports.
“We were comfortable for large spells of the game, then we give away a free-kick. Credit to them for the free-kick but we fall asleep at the back post.
“Kilmarnock were themselves and when they are organised, they are a tough nut to crack.”
Liverpool 1 Manchester City 1 (Manchester City win 5-4 on penalties)