Guardiola's confidence not dented by Community Shield defeat

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Pep Guardiola sees no reason why Manchester City should not be confident ahead of the new season, despite their Community Shield defeat to Liverpool.

City lost 3-1 to Jurgen Klopp's side at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, suffering defeat in the season's traditional curtain-raiser for the second year running.

Guardiola's team had more of the ball (57.3 per cent), more shots on target (eight to four) and registered a higher expected goals total (2.27 to 2.03), but Liverpool seemed the sharper of the two sides as they claimed the trophy for the first time under Klopp.

It was just the second Community Shield clash between the clubs, with the head-to-head record now tied at 1-1 after City's penalty shoot-out victory at Wembley Stadium in 2019.

Seven of the past eight Community Shield matches between the league champions and FA Cup holders have now been won by the cup winners, with the exception being City's 2-0 win over Chelsea in 2018.

While it was a day to forget for City – and specifically new signing Erling Haaland, who cut a frustrated figure throughout and hit the crossbar from six yards out in second-half stoppage time – Guardiola has no doubts about the campaign ahead.

"There is no reason not to be confident," Guardiola told a news conference. "What these guys have done, not just in the Premier League, but the cups, in Europe, many things.

"I don't know what is going to happen at the end of the season, but I am pretty sure I know these guys and they haven't given up for one second.

"We lost a final, we prefer to win. A lot of respect, credit to the opponent. The standard is what it is, we reach this standard as quickly as possible and maintain it, maintain it as always."

Man City registered a higher xG, but it was Liverpool who won the Community Shield
Man City registered a higher xG, but it was Liverpool who won the Community Shield

Asked how close he felt his side were to peak performance, despite having played only two pre-season friendlies prior to facing Liverpool, Guardiola replied: "Close. We did very good things.

"I don't feel, because we know each other so well, that we are far, far away. But at the end, the games against West Ham and, after, Bournemouth will dictate our level, how we are doing, and in the process, we will correct, we will improve; [if we] have to do it that way or the other way, it is going to happen."

While Haaland toiled, Julian Alvarez impressed from the City bench, scoring their equaliser before Mohamed Salah's penalty and Darwin Nunez's header settled the contest in Liverpool's favour.

Yet City's other new arrival, Kalvin Phillips, was not brought on for a competitive debut.

Guardiola was not concerned that being left out would negatively impact the England midfielder's confidence, however.

He said: "No, [Phillips] has confidence. He can play, he is ready to play. He arrived just two weeks ago.

"In that position, we have Rodri, Bernardo [Silva], [Ilkay] Gundogan. Step by step, he will get it. He is an incredible person. There are many games, he is going to help."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting