Athletic Club 1-3 Liverpool: Ireland Friendly Ends In A Loss
Athletic Club’s last true friendly of the summer saw them take on Liverpool in Dublin, Ireland. Roberto Firmino opened up the scoring in the 20th minute thanks to a penalty, but Iñaki Williams was able to equalize before the break. Second half goals from Woodburn and Solanke saw Liverpool through to a 3-1 victory but all-in-all it was a solid performance from the Lions and a fantastic tune-up game in preparation for the new season.
For the first 30 minutes the match was all Liverpool. The English giants dominated possession and had Athletic chasing the ball the entire time. They also had a few great looks at goal with Origi missing two promising headers in the box and a some other minor chances being put off target. After 20 minutes the deadlock would be broken when Inigo Lekue took down Roberto Firmino in the box. The Brazilian stepped up to take the penalty and put his effort past Kepa Arrizabalaga who nearly got a hand to it.
It was a deserved lead for Liverpool, but Athletic began to get into the game and find their rhythm. The final 15 minutes of the first half was controlled by the Lions who were finally able to get their own goal. After winning back possession in midfield, Ager Aketxe found a surging Iñaki Williams running into the box. Dejan Lovren got a boot to the ball, but Williams recovered and took a shot with five defenders surrounding him. The calm finish saw the Basques level at 1-1 going into the break.
Liverpool made 10 changes at halftime, leaving only the keeper on the pitch. Athletic did not make any substitutions until much later in the game and their fatigue was taken advantage of. Goals from Woodburn and Solanke saw Liverpool take a 3-1 lead with only 10 minutes left to place. Though Kuko Ziganda did change out a lot of players throughout the second half it wasn’t enough to get the Lions back into the game. The final whistle sounded with Athletic having lost 3-1 to Liverpool.
Athletic Club will now turn their attention to Deportivo Alaves whom they will face off with in Saturday’s Basque Cup. That will be Athletic’s final friendly of the preseason upon which they will begin preparing for Panathinaikos in their knock-out round of the Europa League. It has been a very quick summer, but it feels like Athletic Club has been playing forever. Kuko Ziganda and company are ready to really get their season underway and Saturday’s friendly against Liverpool was the perfect tune-up match.