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Community Shield shows that Man City, Liverpool will again be well above their Premier League rivals

LONDON -- Let's be brief when it comes to the "things we learned" from the Community Shield: good luck to the rest of the Premier League.

Liverpool and Manchester City, the winners of the 2019-20 curtain raiser at Wembley, show zero signs of letting up. If anything, they look more determined than ever to shatter records and set new benchmarks, both driven on by the presence of the other to be the very best versions of themselves, even in a friendly. 
There were 77,565 in attendance at the iconic stadium to witness a 1-1 draw that was settled 5-4 on penalties in favour to City, but the numbers were not as important as the eye-opening effort and application from the main contenders for the crown this season.


The teams' desire to succeed could be gauged by watching Mohamed Salah, who only returned from his postseason break on Monday and played 45 minutes against Lyon before this tougher test. He was constantly speeding around the attacking third, shrugging off markers and showing fast feet to get 10 shots away -- two hit the post, one was cleared off the line (we'll come to that next) -- which was more than City managed in total.

You could see it in the 93rd minute too, when the Egypt international looked certain to have won the match for Liverpool with a header, only for a scissor kick from Kyle Walker on the goal line to avert danger just before it could go in. Those acrobatics at that stage of the encounter -- a friendly, remember -- underlined City's ruthlessness and refusal to lose a game.

 The most intense element of the showdown didn't even happen on the pitch, but in the technical area of the Premier League champions.

Pep Guardiola paced throughout the match in frustration, furiously pointing out spaces his side weren't exploiting to his liking. He put his hands over his head and over his eyes in disbelief at missed chances or misplaced passes, even leaning against the advertising hoardings in annoyance after an indecisive Raheem Sterling dithered, with only Alisson to beat, and failed to make it 2-0.
 The 48-year-old was so worked up that he even created an imaginary red-card situation when David Silva and Joe Gomez challenged for a high ball and the Liverpool defender got to it first. Guardiola fumed to fourth official Stuart Attwell, suggesting that the England international had gone in on his player dangerously and with force. His continued protestations earned him a yellow card. In a friendly.
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