Manchester City were accused of refusing to collect their Community Shield runners-up medals after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool – but manager Pep Guardiola passionately denied the claims.
Goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez ensured victory for Liverpool and it’s their first Community Shield triumph since 2006.
Naturally, they were keen to celebrate while City’s players were desperate to head down the tunnel. According to ITV Sport, they opted not to pick up their medals and instead clapped Liverpool’s players while lifting the trophy.
Runner-up medals were made available to #ManCity following the Community Shield defeat to Liverpool, but they did not pick them up, according to @itvfootball. ????????
— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) July 30, 2022
Guardiola was asked in his post-match press conference and he moved quickly to squash the rumours.
The interviewer said: “Your players didn’t receive their medals, they didn’t accept the medals…”
Guardiola immediately responded: “Of course we accepted the medals.”
That saw the interviewer claim: “It wasn’t easy to see…”
It isn’t the first time City have been involved in a saga regarding runners-up medals.
Liverpool looked the fitter of the two sides having played four pre-season games compared to City’s two.
City did grow into the contest however and had chances through Erling Haaland and Phil Foden.
Guardiola said he was proud of his players and commended their second half performance.
He continued: “Congratulations to Liverpool. The first 15-20 minutes they were better and after we got our game going it was quite similar (between the teams) in the last 20-25 minutes (of the first half), we arrived when they leave the space.
“The second half we started really well, our game was there, we were really good against this team, confident and creating enough chances to do it, then they make the transition and the penalty and after was more difficult.
“We have two weeks and a little bit since we start (pre-season) so we cannot expect too much.
“I said to the players how proud I was. We have to improve and the timing is not much what we have to do. We need this month along with training to get our tempo and we will do it.”