Guardiola reacts to Community Shield, Walker on wild clearance

Nicholas Mendola
NBC Sports

Pep Guardiola and Manchester City landed their first bit of silverware with a victory over Liverpool in the Community Shield, outlasting their Premier League title rivals in penalty kicks on Sunday at Wembley Stadium, and quickly turned his eye to defending the league for a second time.

“It was a good test for both teams,” Guardiola said. “It’s nice for the players to realize what they will face this season. At this level the difference is nothing. One penalty, one point. United will be back, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea… I don’t know what will happen.”

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The pace of play was frantic, and there could have easily be seven or eight goals between the teams if Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, and Mohamed Salah had their finishing boots.

Sterling did score, early, and Joel Matip‘s late equalizer forced the match to penalty kicks, where Claudio Bravo saved Georginio Wijnaldum‘s effort in the second round.

It was a thriller, even if wasteful, with Kyle Walker making an incredible goal line clearance to keep the shield within reach. He also has the title on his mind.

“I’m a defender, I stop goals,” Walker said. “I’m glad I can help the team out this time. It’s too early to say, there’s a lot of good teams in this league but hopefully we can be up there or thereabouts.”

Guardiola wasn’t too worried about the second half pressure well-applied by the Reds, who probably deserved the win over 90 minutes.

From the BBC:

“An incredible final from both sides, no team can dominate for 90 minutes. We had real good moments, in the last 15 minutes we were exhausted and they had chances to win the game.”

As for the title, neither team was at full strength. Liverpool was without Sadio Mane, while City left Sergio Aguero and Ederson on the bench and also did not have access to Aymeric Laporte.

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