Liverpool new boy Darwin Nunez struck first blood in the battle of the summer super-signings with an encouraging 30-minute cameo which was capped with the final goal in a 3-1 win over Manchester City in the Community Shield.
City, last season’s Premier League champions, and Liverpool, the FA and League Cup winners, both paraded their big-money acquisitions at Leicester’s King Power Stadium in Leicester but it was the Uruguay international who upstaged City’s Erling Haaland.
Nunez came off the bench in the 59th minute with the score at 1-1 and his aerial presence won the late penalty from which Mohamed Salah put Liverpool in front for a second time.
But the former Benfica striker, having earlier been denied a goal by City goalkeeper Ederson, was not finished there and stooped to head home his first for the Reds in domestic competition in added time.
One new City signing did make his mark – the £14m former River Plate forward Julian Alvarez climbing off the bench to cancel out Trent Alexander-Arnold’s opener – but the focus was really on the big men up top.
Alexander-Arnold told ITV Sport: "This one means a lot as it's the third time we've been in it. Our season started today and it was important for us to get off on the right foot."
Asked about Nunez's substitute performance, he added: "It has got to be up there. He won the penalty, scored a goal and looked very lively. He's been bought in to score goals and he's proved he can do that today.
"He's a top player, a young player who is willing to learn. He's bonded well with the lads. He came on with a point to prove.
"Who knows what will happen over the course of the season? Our aim is to be as fit as possible to push them from the very first kick. This was the perfect start and we hope to win trophies along the way."