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Erling Haaland's First Game In English Soccer: 16 Touches, Three Chances And One Huge Miss

Two summer signings scored in Saturday's Community Shield game between Liverpool and Manchester City but neither of them was called Erling Haaland.

City's new Norwegian frontman played the full 90 minutes at the King Power Stadium - where City were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool - but he had fewer touches of the ball than any other starting player.

Haaland recorded 16 touches all game - just two more than City scorer Julian Alvarez, who only played for 32 minutes.

Haaland was generally absent from City's build-up play but that was no great surprise.

After all, he was signed to finish chances, not create them.

Erling Haaland pictured shooting during the 2022 Community Shield game between Manchester City and Liverpool

Erling Haaland pictured shooting during the 2022 Community Shield game between Manchester City and Liverpool

City were chasing the game for most of the evening after Trent Alexander-Arnold fired Liverpool ahead midway through the first half.

Two chances fell Haaland's way within 15 seconds of each other as City threatened an equalizer in the 34th minute.

Both opportunities came via Bernardo Silva. The first saw Haaland hold off strong pressure from Andy Robertson before shooting straight at Liverpool keeper Adrian.

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The chance that followed swiftly after came from a Bernardo cross. Haaland awkwardly threw his left boot at the ball when his right would have been a better option. Consequently, he was unable to direct his shot on target.

Haaland's eighth touch of the game was with his right foot but it was not a good one. Jack Grealish played the ball into the striker inside a crowded penalty area and it bounced off Haaland's boot before being gratefully cleared by Joel Matip.

It was Haaland's head-to-head with Liverpool's other center-back, Virgil van Dijk, that was the focus of much attention before the match.

That battle failed to deliver any fireworks but Van Dijk can probably claim a personal victory this time around, having beaten Haaland to the ball on multiple occasions.

At the other end, Liverpool new-look attack was looking sharp. New boy Darwin Nunez won a penalty - which Mo Salah converted - before sealing Liverpool's win with a goal of his own late on.

The day belonged to Liverpool but this was just a taster of their Premier League battle ahead.

Whether Haaland will eventually prove to be a good fit in Pep Guardiola's City system remains to be seen.

The fear is that he could become like Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United last season - topping the scoring charts but at the expense of the team's tactical balance.

But goals are a guarantee with Haaland, over the course of a season at least.

He should have scored his first for City in second-half stoppage time but he hit the crossbar from six yards with the goal gaping.