Just less than a week after the UEFA Champions League Final. The FA Community Shield 2020 kicked off between Liverpool vs Arsenal. Liverpool, the Premier League champions of season 2019/20 faced the FA Cup winners Arsenal at Wembley Stadium, London. Before coming into the game, Arsenal had played just one pre-season friendly against Milton Keynes Dons. Whereas, Liverpool played two club friendlies VB Stuttgart and Salzburg respectively.
Liverpool started 4-3-3 with a strong playing XI. Only Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson were absent from the squad. The 19 years old Neco Williams replaced Trent Alexander Arnold at the right-back position. Liverpool’s new signing, Kostas Tsimikas was on the bench. Arsenal, on the other hand, started 3-4-3. The 21 years old Eddie Nketiah was brought back from Leeds United, where he spent a season on loan. He was named in the playing XI, replacing Alexandre Lacazette. Whereas Bukayo Saka started on the right-wing for Arsenal replacing Nicolas Pepe. Mohamed Elneny was brought back to Arsenal after a spell of one season loan at Besiktas.
Liverpool played a high line from the very beginning of the game. They found themselves exposed many times with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Robertson curled a brilliant freekick to which Virgil van Dijk found the back of the net in the opening 10 minutes of the game. However, it was ruled offside. A few minutes later, Arsenal went ahead through Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon international curled the ball inside the net from just outside the box. Leaving Allison no chance to save. This Arsenal goal came from the build-up from their defense. However, not every time it went according to the London club. Many times Liverpool’s high press caused panic in Arsenal’s defense. Arsenal kept on exposing Liverpool’s high line of defense and saw few more chances in the first half of the FA Community Shield. Eddie Nketiah takes a shot on target but it was saved by Alison.
Liverpool’s 43% of the attacks came from the left flank. They started to take control of the game in the second half. Immediately had a couple of chances. Roberto Firmino came close in the 51st minute of the game. He tried a curler similar to Aubameyang but was just wide. A few minutes later, Sadio Mane had a brilliant chance to go one-on-one against Martinez. However, Martinez comes off his line to deny the chance for Liverpool.
On the 59th minute, Takumi Minamino came on in place of youngster Neco Williams, an attacking change from Jurgen Klopp. He made his move from Salzburg in the winter transfer and was yet to score a goal for Liverpool. However, after high pressing and attacking game, Liverpool eventually equaled in the 73rd minute. Takumi Minamino scored his first goal for Liverpool and what a time it was to come at. Both teams had few good chances in the closing stages of the game. However, neither of them could convert those into a goal. The match ended 1-1 and went into the penalty shootouts.
Arsenal won 5-4 in penalties. Liverpool’s 20 years old Rhian Brewster hit his penalty on the crossbar. Aubameyang scored the winning penalty. After the Emirates FA Cup, Arsenal wins their 16th Community Shield. Can Arsenal take this form in the Premier League next season?