Erling Haaland had a start to forget for Manchester City as they were beaten 3-1 in the Community Shield by Liverpool.
The Reds took the lead midway through the first half with an excellent strike from Trent Alexander-Arnold, before new City striker Julian Alvarez netted on his debut after 70 minutes after a lengthy VAR check.
Jurgen Klopp’s side retook the lead with a Mohamed Salah penalty before Darwin Nunez won the battle for big summer signings by opening his account at Liverpool after coming on as a second-half substitute.
Manchester City looked subdued throughout the encounter at Leicester, and while expectations were incredibly high for Haaland’s first game in a Sky Blue shirt, his individual display fell flat.
The 22-year-old played the full 90 minutes and made several good runs without the ball. However, his performance will be remembered for a terrible failure in injury time, where he hit the crossbar in front of an open goal inside the penalty area.
City appeared to be struggling to adjust to their game around their new number nine, with the Norwegian striker largely overshadowed by fellow Premier League newcomers Alvarez and Nunez.
After the full-time whistle, fans of all clubs took to Twitter to mock Haaland over his ineffective display:
Trent Alexander-Arnold praises Darwin Nunez impact as Erling Haaland empties Manchester City
The Uruguay striker was the Premier League’s most expensive signing of the summer and has already started paying back the huge fee by helping deliver Liverpool their first trophy of the season.
Nunez’s header also led to the Reds’ second-half penalty after Ruben Dias’ blatant handball. England full-back Alexander-Arnold was full of praise for his new team-mate after the final whistle.
He told ITV Sport (according to BBC Sports):
“It has to be up there. He won the penalty, scored a goal and looked very sharp. He was bought to score goals and he proved he can do that today.”
The right-back continued:
“He’s a top player, a young player who wants to learn. He bonded well with the guys. He came with a point to prove.”
“Who knows what’s going to happen over the course of the season? Our goal is to be as fit as possible to push them from the first kick. It was the perfect start and we hope to win trophies along the way. road.”