ANDhe Athletic closes the preseason with a draw away from Liverpool. Marcelino’s team, which was at the mercy of Klopp’s during the first half, grew as the minutes passed and patched up its staging. Nevertheless, The best player of the Lions, who once again wore their striking green luggage, was goalkeeper Agirrezabala, who will make his LaLiga debut against Elche. Athletic bids farewell to their preparation time with a draw to join the triumphs against Dinamo Kiev, Dortmund and Southampton and defeats against Sant Gallen, Union Berlin
Veteran Mike Dean, who referees Premier League matches at the age of 53, led a crossing that began 30 minutes late due to the ‘traffic jam’ that occurred at the accesses to Anfield, which has gone from the bad times of the pandemic to having the capacity to gather several thousand fans. Liverpool fans did not miss the opportunity and flocked to see the duel that closed the Athletic preseason and that for the locals was the prelude to the friendly that they will play on Monday against Osasuna in memory of the late Michael Robinson. Athletic will debut in the League on August 16 in Elche and Liverpoor will do so in the Premier two days before opposite Norwich.
Athletic warned with a play invalidated by offside by Williams and then with a deflected shot by Munian after a good gallop by Berenguer, but what he did was harangue a Liverpool who sent decisively the following minutes with arrivals from all flanks and a goal thanks to an error in the ball from the lions. Agirrezabala served short for Vivian, this extended out of the area towards Vencedor, who could not with the pressure of Keita. The Liverpool midfielder quickly served Mane, who took advantage of the gift to enable Jota, who had easy to overcome the goalkeeper.
The Liverpool was a gale. Iñigo Martínez avoided with his head the 2-0 rise to the scoreboard and then the saving grace went to Agirrezabala. Those of Marcelino, who seemed to play with a fireball because they barely managed to dominate three passes in a row, were in the road to tie with a run into space by Williams … who was made the small goal when he met Alisson. Klopp’s team did not lower the rhythm one iota and dislodged Athletic, both playing space and looking for more elaborate actions. In a play with the ball into the gap Mane hit the goal, but Dean canceled it for offside at the behest of his assistant, that in the friendly duel there was no VAR. Then came the option of Van Dijk, with a shot after a corner kick, which had he entered would still be cheered on by Anfield fans, eager to see the seriously injured center-back enjoy last season.
The stands organized a curious bustle of emotion every time Agirrezabala had to intervene in a first half that Liverpool was a whirlwind. Of course, Athletic, in tow, could have tied in the 35th minute with a high shot from Sancet and a minute later there was another shot from Williams that ran into an inspired Alisson. In the other goal Agirrezabala also He was fine and showed courage to command in the area before the constant bombardment of centers. The young Gipuzkoan goalkeeper (20 years old) aims to start in the league debut because Simón will have a few days of vacation after chaining participation in the Eurocup and the Olympic Games.
The closure to the first period occurred almost coinciding with Robertson’s injury. The Scotsman left the field after damaging his right ankle and Klopp, who had advanced Beck’s warm-up, did not even have time to order the change before the referee’s whistle.
The return of the dressing room kept the same protagonists, with the obligatory incorporation of Beck, and a very similar tone of the game, with Liverpool managing one more march than Marcelino’s because they almost always arrived earlier. But Athletic found the necessary pause and in the 53rd he mounted his most elaborate play of the entire match: the game started in their own field and after staggering several passes the plan gained speed with the final triangulation between Williams, Sancet and the scorer Berenguer. The 1-1 confirmed that the The only way to get out alive at Anfield was to play catch, which was like cutting off the electricity that Liverpool loved.
Marcelino chose to change to half the team after game time and the party gained oxygen and a desire to shine among those who had entered. Meanwhile, Agirrezabala followed his thing with a phenomenal intervention shot by Mane, who had received another advantage from Keita. And where the Donostiarra did not arrive, the frame of his goal appeared: the stick repelled a shot from Elliot that threatened to become Liverpool’s winning goal.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk (Rhys Williams, 72 ‘), Robertson (Beck, 46’); Milner, Keita (Morton, 83 ‘), Elliot (Cain, 84’); Salah Jota (Woodburn, 72 ‘), Mane.
Athletic: Agirrezabala; De Marcos (Petxararroman, 64 ‘), Vivian (Nuñez, 64’), Iñigo Martínez (Paredes, 83 ‘), Balenziaga (Lekue, 64’); Berenguer (Morcillo, 76 ‘), Dani García (Vesga, 83’), Vencedor (Zarraga, 76 ‘), Muniain (Nico Williams, 64’); Sancet (Raúl García, 64 ‘), Iñaki Williams (Villalibre, 64’).
Goals: 1-0 13 ‘Jota 1-1 53’ Berenguer
Referee: Mike Dean (England)