5 Key Points From Liverpool’s Community Shield Loss

31 Aug

Liverpool lost the chance to add more silverware to their trophy cabinet on Saturday as they lost on penalties to FA Cup winners’ Arsenal in the Community Shield.

Here are 5 key points I took from a Liverpool point of view from Saturday’s defeat.

1- Trent Alexander-Arnold was badly missed on Saturday. The young talented Scouser is becoming one of Liverpool’s most important players and his absence was noticeable.

Neco Williams was given another chance in Liverpool’s first team with Alexander-Arnold still recovering from an injury, but it was a tough game as he found himself having to deal with one of Europe’s best strikers in the shape of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Williams was well beaten by the striker as he skipped inside the young full-back to rifle Arsenal into the lead.

Williams found himself on the back foot for most of the game with Kieran Tierney bombing forward in support of Aubameyang and found it extremely difficult to get forward.

Liverpool had basically no attacking threat down the right flank as Alexander-Arnold’s ability with his crossing and passing ability was sorely missed.

Hopefully Trent-Alexander is fit for the start of the season.

2- Jürgen Klopp’s substitutions in the second half led to Liverpool getting back into the game with the introduction of Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino. The duo provided the Reds with much more creativity as the Premier League Champions struggled to break down a resolute Arsenal defence.

Keita and Minamino’s pre-season form is encouraging for the season ahead.

3- I was very disappointed to see Rhian Brewster only brought on for penalty duties, which his unfortunate miss proved to be crucial as Arsenal won the shootout to result in them lifting the Community Shield.

Liverpool need more attacking options to compliment Mane, Salah and Firmino, and with Divock Origi being the only other striking option.

Brewster’s form on loan at Swansea City last season was impressive, and he scored three goals in Liverpool’s two friendlies in the past week, and I would have loved to have seen him play 20 minutes or so against Arsenal.

I hope Klopp keeps him this season because I think he is the kind of out and out striker that we haven’t had for a while. Brewster looks like a natural finisher in the mould of Robbie Fowler and although Mane, Firmino and Salah can all score goals I wouldn’t say any of them are natural goal scorers.

It would be a shame to see Brewster loaned out again because I think he is ready to make the step up into Liverpool’s first team.

4- Are teams starting to work Liverpool out?

Arsenal got their tactics spot on against Liverpool on Saturday as they defended compactly and deep, with a threat on the counter-attack.

This is the second time in succession that Mikel Arteta’s team have beaten the Premier League champions.

Although Liverpool did eventually find a way through to level things up during the 90 minutes on Saturday before losing on penalties, they were left frustrated for long periods with Arteta’s tactics.

Arsenal’s recent good results against Liverpool makes you wonder if teams are learning how to stop them, it certainly will be interesting when Liverpool meet them very soon on the third league game of the new season.

5- Is Liverpool’s loss a good omen?

Liverpool lost on penalties for the second year in a row in the Community Shield after losing to last season’s treble winners Manchester City last year.

Liverpool shrugged off the disappointment of losing last season’s Community Shield to go on a historic season to win the Premier League for the first time, so hopefully Saturday’s disappointment will be a lucky omen for the season ahead.

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