By Aidan Small
We lifted our 16th Community Shield on Saturday evening, thanks to a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win after finishing 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Just 28 days ago we were crowned Emirates FA Cup winners at Wembley Stadium - and it’s safe to say we picked up where we left off in the opening exchanges.
When Bukayo Saka received the ball on the counter and cut back inside, it seemed like all momentum had been lost, but with a stunning pass into the path of Aubameyang, our No 14 checked onto his right foot and duly fired into the bottom corner.
It took our captain just 12 minutes to open his account for the new season. Take a bow, Auba.
It could have been two just moments later. Saka was once again leading the charge, bearing down on the Reds’ defence before finding Eddie Nketiah, who forced a low save from Alisson.
Liverpool finished the half as the stronger of the two sides, carving out late chances for Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane, but our defence stood their ground.
Last season’s Premier League winners stepped things up even further after the restart and nearly drew level through Mane, only for Emi Martinez to race off his line and block the danger with an outstretched arm.
However, the pressure continued and despite defending with resilience, substitute Takumi Minamino reacted first inside the area and coolly fired into the bottom corner.
We continued to push forward in search of a winner and came close through Aubameyang once more, but in the end the game would be settled by penalties.
Mohamed Salah, Reiss Nelson, Fabinho and Ainsley Maitland-Niles made no mistake from the spot, before Rhian Brewster fired the ball back off the bar and handed us the advantage.
Cedric Soares, Minamino, David Luiz and Curtis Jones all converted, before Aubameyang was given the chance to seal the win.
It came as no surprise when our No 14 did what he does best, putting the ball in the back of the net and sealing Mikel Arteta’s second trophy as head coach.
HOW IT HAPPENED
We now turn our attention to continuing to build towards the opening weekend of the Premier League season, when we travel to Craven Cottage to face newly-promoted Fulham.
The game is set to be played on Saturday, September 12 with kick-off at 12.30pm (UK time).
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