Liverpool fans spot James Milner's clever trick for Mohamed Salah's penalty.
Liverpool veteran James Milner put his many years of experience to good use as Mohamed Salah stepped up to take a penalty in the Community Shield clash with Manchester City.
The Reds defeated their rivals 3-1 at the King Power Stadium in the season’s traditional curtain-raiser on Saturday evening. Salah scored the decisive goal from the penalty spot after Julian Alvarez levelled in the second half from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s early opener.
The Egyptian showed nerves of steel to bury a powerful effort from 12 yards into the bottom corner and restore Liverpool’s lead, before Darwin Nunez’s header secured victory in added time. While the gazes of viewers up and down the country were fixed firmly on Salah as he ran up to take his spot kick, eagle-eyed fans have spotted Milner’s clever actions right before the ball was struck.
The 36-year-old took a step back from the rest of the players in the penalty area and mimicked his teammate’s run-up. This meant Milner arrived in the box with more momentum than those around him just as Salah made contact with the ball, putting him in prime position to get on the end of any rebound without committing an infringement.
Milner was not required as Salah scored at the first attempt, but he was the first to reach his teammate and embrace him as the Reds went ahead 2-1. The versatile midfielder had to wait a decade to win the Community Shield for the second time, having won it with Manchester City back in 2007.
Milner came off the bench with just over a quarter-hour remaining against the Sky Blues on Saturday to replace goalscorer Alexander-Arnold at right-back. Minutes later, fellow substitute Darwin Nunez earned a penalty for his new team after his header was handled by City defender Ruben Dias.
Salah made no mistake from 12 yards and Nunez wrapped up the Community Shield triumph by getting on the end of Andy Robertson’s cross in the 94th minute. Robertson hopes collecting the first silverware of the season can be the impetus for Liverpool to win more trophies, adding to their recent FA Cup and EFL Cup successes.
The left-back said: “It’s obviously the first game of the season and you only get here by being successful, and [it was] a really tough game against a top opposition, but it’s always nice to win it. This is the first taste for us, so hopefully it’s not the last trophy we win this season.”