PA Wire/PA Images The Liverpool players congratulate goalscorer Roberto Firmino.
# Red men
Liverpool make light work of Athletic Bilbao in front of a full house at the Aviva Stadium
Goals from Roberto Firmino, Ben Woodburn and Dominic Solanke saw Jurgen Klopp’s side hand the Basque side a 3-1 defeat.

Liverpool 3

Athletic Bilbao 1

Ben Blake reports from the Aviva Stadium

A SOLD OUT crowd watched Liverpool ease past La Liga opposition in Dublin this evening.

Roberto Firmino, Ben Woodburn and Dominic Solanke were on target for the Premier League outfit, while Inaki Williams prevented them from leaving with a clean sheet.

The match may have clashed with Dublin’s All-Ireland senior football quarter-final against Monaghan, but events across the Liffey didn’t stop 51,333 fans turning out to see their club in action.

Ahead of a Premier League curtain-raiser away to Watford in seven days’ time, Jurgen Klopp gave the majority of his first-team stars a run-out.

Philippe Coutinho, a reported target for Barcelona to replace his compatriot Neymar, missed out due to complaints of a sore back, however.

Liverpool v Athletic Bilbao - Pre-Season Friendly - Aviva Stadium PA Wire / PA Images A young Liverpool fan holds up his scarf. PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Club record signing Mohamed Salah, who arrived from Roma in June, has looked bright during pre-season and the Egyptian had the first real chance of the game on seven minutes.

After good build-up play, his cross-cum-shot whistled past the post. Moments later, the Merseysiders should really have opened the scoring. Salah was again involved, before Firmino played Divock Origi through with a delicate first-time pass.

The Belgian looked odds-on to find the back of the net but somehow put his effort wide.

Origi was presented with another decent opportunity to put Liverpool 1-0 up on 17 minutes, but he headed wide after a clipped cross from Salah.

Reds supporters didn’t have to wait much longer, however, as they went in front on 21 minutes. Inigo Lekue dragged Firmino down in the box and the Brazilian dusted himself off to slot away the penalty after referee Paul McLaughlin pointed to the spot.

Jurgen Klopp Donall Farmer / INPHO Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Athletic manager José Ángel Ziganda has been tasked with taking over from Barcelona’s new boss Ernesto Valverde, who led the Basque club to seventh in La Liga last season.

And he saw his team drew level on the half-hour mark, just after they had threatened through Ager Aketxe.

Matip’s attempt to cut out a pass fell kindly to Williams. The 23-year-old Spain international, rumoured to be wanted by Liverpool earlier this summer, made no mistake in slotting past Simon Mignolet.

Alberto Moreno had an outside-of-the-boot shot saved by Kepa Arrizabelaga before the half-time whistle, but but the sides went in at the break one goal apiece.

Inaki Williams scores a goal Donall Farmer / INPHO Inaki Williams scores for Athletic Bilbao. Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Klopp rang in the changes at half-time with just Mignolet keeping his place as 10 players were introduced — including 17-year-old Welsh prodigy Ben Woodburn.

Both keepers were soon called into action again as Inigo Cordoba fired straight at Mignolet, before a super save from Arrizabalaga denied Sadio Mane.

But it was Woodburn who got his name on the scoresheet next with just under an hour played. Solanke ran the channels and cut the ball back for the teenager, who took it inside his marker with a deft touch and curled home beautifully.

Summer signing Solanke then put the icing on the cake with 11 minutes remaining. Ragnar’s Klavan stuck an inch-perfect ball onto the England U20 international’s head and he directed it beyond the Athletic keeper.

LIVERPOOL: Simon Mignolet, Trent Alexander-Arnold (Jon Flanagan 46), Joel Matip (Joe Gomez 46), Dejan Lovren (Ragnar Klavan 46), Alberto Moreno (Andy Robertson 46), Emre Can (Ovie Ejaria 46), James Milner (Ryan Kent 46), Marko Grujic (Ben Woodburn 46), Mohamed Salah (Georginio Wijnaldum 46), Roberto Firmino (Dominic Solanke 46), Divock Origi (Sadio Mane 46).

ATHLETIC BILBAO: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Eneko Boveda, Enric Saborit, Mikel San Jose, Inaki Williams (Benat Etxebarria 68), Inigo Lekue (Asier Villalibre 68), Mikel Rico (Enrique Sole 68), Sabin Merino, Ager Aketxe, Inigo Cordoba, Unai Nunez.

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