Over a year on from their last appearance in the FA Community Shield, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool fell short once again in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw during 90 minutes against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
The Red’s started the game on the front foot but a goal from the Gunners against the run of play, quickly put the Premier League champions under pressure.
The rest of the first half and start of the second would pan out in a similar fashion. Liverpool struggling to create any clear cut chances while Arsenal looked to counter attack on any opportunity.
That was up until the arrival of Naby Këita and Takumi Minamino in the 60th minute. The two former Red Bull Salzburg players made the difference for their side, by creating chances down the centre of the pitch rather than the wings.
It would be the Japanese star who put the Red’s level and his half hour performance stood out.
Minamino looked sharp, quick and always tried to make things happen when the ball was at his feet. While his goal was a matter of right place and right time, it was skill that enabled the ball to reach Mohamed Salah in the first place.
This intervention set off the confusion in the box which resulted in the ball finding its way back to Minamino. His finish was calm and composed; the No.18 slotted past Emiliano Martinez in a manner reminiscent of a player who has scored prolifically in Liverpool red.
The rest of his performance was excellent. He was creative and always looking for the ball. The £8million man also slotted away his penalty in the shootout, capping off a promising personal display.
The No.18 has so far struggled to acclimatise to life in England but hopefully his goal against Arsenal is the first step in making a name for himself at the club.
Takumi Minamino will hope that his impact off the bench on Saturday was enough to give him a chance of starting in the Red’s opening league fixture against Leeds United on September 12.