Takumi Minamino was the only bright spot for Liverpool, who missed out on the Community Shield after a defeat to Arsenal in the penalty shootout.
Liverpool were ousted by Arsenal once again this year as the reigning English champions kickstarted their 2020/21 campaign on a negative note by missing out on the Community Shield.
They lost the match via a penalty shootout after the game had initially ended 1-1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the opener for Arsenal in the first half, with the Reds struggling to cope with their efficient pressing and transition despite a high line of press.
However, the Gunners looked a little complacent late in the game and Liverpool took full advantage, securing the equaliser through Takumi Minamino in the 73rd minute.
In the shootout, however, youngster Rhian Brewster failed to convert his spot-kick, allowing Aubameyang to score the decisive penalty and secure yet another trophy for Mikel Arteta and his troops.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 29, 2020
And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Liverpool players in their defeat to Arsenal in the Community Shield.
Alisson was completely undone by Aubameyang’s sumptuous strike for the opener. The Brazilian had absolutely no chance against that curler. He also didn’t make any saves in the penalty shootout but his save to deny Eddie Nketiah’s effort in the first-half was crucial in preventing Arsenal from getting a grip on the proceedings.
Neco Williams: 6/10
Starting ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold, the young Neco Williams had a difficult evening dealing with the collective threat of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Kieran Tierney and Aubameyang. A disappointing outing for the Welshman.
Joe Gomez: 7/10
Joe Gomez’s pace was crucial in helping Liverpool implement a high line of press early on in the game. The English international took care of long balls and physically dealt with the likes of Nketiah. His versatility of playing as a right-back helped the Reds, following the substitution of Williams.
Virgil van Dijk: 7/10
Virgil van Dijk had a decent outing despite Arsenal causing a lot of threat in the defensive half. The Dutchman looked calm in the build-up and marshaled the backline with his strength, leadership and experience.
Andrew Robertson: 7.5/10
Andrew Robertson was given a more conservative role by Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool were implementing a Bayern-like high defensive line. He acted well in the build-up and got forward when it was necessary – making him one of the more influential performers for the Reds this evening.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
Georginio Wijnaldum did a lot of running throughout the game, looking to compete with the Arsenal pair of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny. However, the Dutchman was rather clumsy when it came to offering defensive support to his full-back and could have done much better to prevent the opposition from creating turnovers in the middle of the park.
Fabinho didn’t look like his usual best this evening. He had trouble imposing his presence and distribute possession with his brilliant range of passing. He was, however, Liverpool’s best midfielder, and improved greatly in the second half, helping his club dominate possession and ultimately churn out a late equaliser.
James Milner: 5/10
Starting ahead of Naby Keita, James Milner had an excellent chance of scoring the opener for Liverpool. However, his attempted header from a Williams cross was awful and wide. Didn’t make much of an impact in terms of gameplay and was hooked off around the hour mark.
Mohamed Salah: 5/10
It wasn’t the best of the performances from Mohamed Salah, who was anonymous for the large parts of the game. He barely managed to get past a well-disciplined Tierney throughout the first half and while he did enjoy a bit more freedom after the restart, his contributions weren’t enough to help his team.
Roberto Firmino: 5.5/10
Much like Salah, Roberto Firmino endured a disappointing evening. The Brazilian struggled to find any rhythm and break down the Arsenal defence, although the opposition does deserve a lot of credit for their hard-work in stopping the ex-Hoffenheim star.
Sadio Mane: 6/10
Sadio Mane didn’t make a huge impact in the proceedings. But unlike Salah, he was a constant threat for the Gunners on the right-hand channel, where they did look vulnerable especially after the introduction of Cedric Soares. However, it was never enough to help Liverpool seal a comfortable win.
Takumi Minamino: 8/10
Replacing Williams around the hour-mark, this was a perfect opportunity for Minamino to finally make an impact in the first-team and that he did. The Japanese international looked hungry and wanted the ball every time while hovering around the box, confusing the Arsenal defenders before finding the all-important equaliser late in the game.
It was by far Minamino’s best performance in a Liverpool shirt and for the fans, it will hopefully one of many more to come in the upcoming season.
Naby Keita: 7/10
Keita was introduced around the hour-mark when he replaced Milner. The Guinean international quickly made an impact with his expertise on the ball. It helped Liverpool dominate possession while Keita’s crosses also forced the opposition to drop deeper.
Curtis Jones: N/A
A late replacement for the tiring Firmino as Liverpool opted for freshness in the midfield unit. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Rhian Brewster: N/A
Coming on the back of a successful loan spell at Fulham, Rhian Brewster was given the chance to impress Jurgen Klopp. But, he made a mess of it as it was his missed penalty that led to Liverpool’s defeat in the shootout. The youngster needs to gain more experience.