Manchester City began the defense of its domestic quadruple with a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Liverpool in the Community Shield.
With the game tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes, the Premier League curtain raiser was decided by spot kicks and Claudio Bravo once again made himself the hero.
The Chilean has earned a reputation as a specialist penalty stopper and guessed right to save Georginio Wijnaldum’s decisive effort.
It continues City’s incredible run of total domestic dominance, having won the last five trophies on offer in England – two Community Shields, a League Cup and the FA Cup.
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Pep Guardiola’s side was superior in the first half and opened the scoring after 11 minutes thanks to Raheem Sterling’s scrappy goal.
However, a complete turnaround in fortunes in the second period saw Liverpool dominate the remainder of the match – though in truth it was lucky to still be in the game after Sterling squandered a brilliant chance early on.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, Virgil van Dijk lofted a cross towards the far post where substitute Joel Matip was left unmarked to head home the equalizer.
English fans are divided as to how important the Community Shield is, with some deriding those who celebrate what they perceive to be a pre-season friendly too much.
However, a winning mentality and that winning feeling instilled in a squad before the season has even started can only be a positive.
Liverpool gets the Premier League season under way when it welcomes Norwich to Anfield on Friday and City begins its attempt at a third straight title away to West Ham on Saturday.