London agog as Liverpool, Man City battle for Community Shield
• Klopp’s Red Returns After 13 Years
Today’s Community Shield clash against Manchester City at the Wembley Stadium in London see Liverpool’s return to the competition for the first time in 13 years.
It is the traditional curtain-raiser of the English football calendar, pitting the league champions against the FA Cup holders.
This year, with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City sweeping all before them on the domestic front, the league runners-up (and European champions) will provide the opposition.
Having been edged out by a single point to the title, it is scant consolation to Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.
In August 2006, goals from John-Arne Riise and Peter Crouch were enough for Rafa Benitez’s FA Cup winners against Jose Mourinho’s dominant Chelsea side.
That day in Cardiff saw a rather surprising line-up, and four new signings… and the team looks very different to today’s.
Ahead today’s clash in London, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says Jurgen Klopp’s insinuation that they are spending their way to success “bothers” him.
In July, Klopp said Liverpool “were not in fantasia land” where they could buy who they wanted – unlike City, Paris St-Germain, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“Of course [Klopp’s suggestion] bothers me. It’s not true that we spent £200m every window,” said Guardiola.
“I don’t like it. Last summer we spent £17m on just one player,” Guardiola stated.
Today’s match is the renewal of a growing rivalry that produced one of the most compelling Premier League title battles last term, when City came from behind to beat Brighton on the final day of the season to reach 98 points, edging Liverpool, who finished on 97.
Since then, City have paid a club record £62.8m to Atletico Madrid for midfielder Rodri and £5.3m to bring defender Angelino back from PSV Eindhoven a year after selling him.
They also paid Colombus Crew about £7m for USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who has been loaned to German club Fortuna Düsseldorf.
In contrast, Liverpool have only spent £1.7m on Sepp van den Berg from Dutch club Zwolle.
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