LEICESTER, England (Reuters) – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp was full of praise for new signing Darwin Nunez as the Uruguayan sealed their 3-1 win over Manchester City in the Community Shield on Saturday.
Liverpool won the season curtain raiser for the first time since 2006 with a convincing victory over Pep Guardiola’s City at Leciester City’s King Power Stadium.
Nunez came on in the 59th minute with the score at 1-1 and helped win a penalty when his header struck defender Ruben Dias’ arm before he then scored with an angled header in added time.
“I think Darwin would have been fine even without scoring the third one because the penalty was Millie’s (James Milner’s) cross and his header,” Klopp said of the 75 million euros ($76.64 million) signing from Benfica.
“You could see in his face, you could see in the face of all his team mates how happy the boys are for him and that’s a really good sign after that short period of time that he is with us.
“Probably one of the highlights of the game, as good as we were, was the impact from the bench. Everybody who came on was immediately in the game – very, very, very helpful.”
Guardiola said Liverpool started better, but his team created enough chances to win.
“Congratulations to Liverpool. The first 15 to 20 minutes they were better. After we got our game, and it was quite similar the last 25 minutes, we arrived when they left space and tried to attack,” Guardiola said.
“We have to improve. The timing is not much what we have to do, especially the fact we need this month training and games to get our tempo and we will do it.”
City’s new signing Erling Haaland, bought from Borussia Dortmund for a basic transfer fee of more than 50 million euros, missed several chances but Guardiola was confident the Norwegian international would score soon.
“He fought a lot and made the movements. It’s good for him to see the reality of the new country, new league,” the Spaniard said. “He was there. Today he didn’t score – another day he will score.”
($1 = 0.9787 euros)
(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)