Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised his players despite losing on penalties to Man City in the Community Shield.
Pep Guardiola’s side claimed the ore-season trophy after winning 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw. Raheem Sterling put Man City ahead in the first half before Joel Matip equalised in the second period.
Gabriel Jesus converted the winning penalty after Gini Wijnaldum was denied by Claudio Bravo. Speaking after the game, Klopp paid tribute to his players for their second half performance.
“It was a really powerful performance,” he said. “Both teams had a similar pre-season, travelling so much you don’t really know where you are, it’s just so intense with all the trips.
“Obviously in the second half we were in charge and full of desire. We didn’t do it, but at least we got the equaliser so it’s how it is. Penalties, a bit of luck is involved and one goalkeeper’s save decides it, but I can’t be disappointed today.
“Not because of the competition but because of the performance of my boys. That was more important.
“If you win the game somehow and play some shambles that helps us not at all. But now we know we are still here and we can still play good football and I like that information the most.”
Meanwhile, Kyle Walker said he wants Manchester City to use their Community Shield victory as a springboard to further success this season.
“It’s the first trophy you can win,” Walker said on BT Sport. “For me, growing up, the Community Shield was a big one, it’s the start of the season and it gives you momentum.
“Hopefully we can replicate what we did last season.”
Walker was pleased to be able to make a key contribution with the goal-line clearance to deny Salah late on.
“I’m a defender, I stop goals,” the England full-back said. “I’m glad I could help the team out this time. They help me out all the time by scoring goals so this one’s for them.”
Though City’s opening Premier League match at West Ham is now less than a week away, De Bruyne described the match as an “early pre-season” game and suggested several players are still short of fitness.
“The good thing is we always play the same system so we know what we have to do,” the Belgian said.
“Some guys have just come back two days ago and others have only been training for two or three weeks.
“It seems in pre-season there’s more commercials these days than there is training. For most guys it was their first 90 minutes so it’s a really important game for that reason.”
Guardiola admitted his side struggled in the final 15 minutes of the game and pointed to fitness levels in the final match of pre-season.
“It was incredible from both sides,” he said. “I don’t think either team could control the 90 minutes. Both sides had really good moments. In the last 15 minutes we were exhausted and they had the better chances to win the game, but before we had our moments too.
“It was a good test. It was a pre-season game but it’s nice to realise what we are going to face for the rest of the season.
“We scored one more penalty, last season we had one more point, so at this level the distance is (so close).”