Aug 5, 2017 at 5.15pm UK at ​Aviva Stadium
Athletic Bilbao
Firmino (21' pen.), Woodburn (59'), Solanke (79')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Williams (30')

Live Commentary: Liverpool 3-1 Athletic Bilbao - as it happened

Live Commentary: Liverpool 3-1 Bilbao - as it happened
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the pre-season friendly between Liverpool and Athletic Bilbao from the Aviva Stadium.

Liverpool ended their preparations for the 2017-18 campaign with a 3-1 victory over Spanish outfit Athletic Bilbao at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday night.

Inaki Williams cancelled out a Roberto Firmino penalty to leave the two teams level at the break, but Ben Woodburn and Dominic Solanke struck in the second period to hand Liverpool the win.

Relive Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute commentary of the action below.

4.16pmAfternoon all! Sports Mole's live pre-season coverage continues from the Aviva Stadium in Dublin as Liverpool face Spanish outfit Athletic Bilbao. This match will bring an end to Liverpool's pre-season preparations, but Bilbao still have another friendly against fellow La Liga team Alaves next weekend ahead of the new season. Stay tuned for what should be an entertaining fixture!

4.19pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the team news from Dublin. Liverpool were in action on Wednesday night against Atletico Madrid in the Audi Cup, while Bilbao played in the Europa League against Dinamo Bucuresti on Thursday night. Let's run through the two XIs here...


LIVERPOOL: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Can, Milner, Grujic; Salah, Firmino, Origi

BILBAO: To follow.

4.25pmWe are still waiting for confirmation from Bilbao, but Liverpool's team news is in. Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi will start in the final third for the Reds, while there is a midfield position for Marko Grujic. Alberto Moreno keeps his spot at left-back ahead of summer signing Andrew Robertson, who is on the bench alongside the likes of Sadio Mane. Just waiting on Bilbao now!

4.28pmLiverpool are still building towards the start of competitive action, but for Bilbao, their 2017-18 campaign has already started. Indeed, the La Liga side have already been in action in the third qualifying round of the Europa League - recording a 4-1 aggregate victory over Dinamo Bucuresti.

4.32pmAs mentioned, Bilbao hosted Romanian side Dinamo Bururesti on Thursday night, and a 3-0 win at San Mames proved enough for the Basque club to advance into the next round courtesy of a 4-1 aggregate success. It is difficult when teams have to start their seasons in July, but Bilbao have achieved a spot in the next round, and will look on this match as another valuable fitness exercise.

4.35pmIt would be fair to say that it has been a mixed pre-season for Bilbao in terms of results. The La Liga club began their preparations for the new campaign with a 3-2 defeat against Basel on July 12, while they have also lost to Real Valladolid during pre-season. Bilbao have won their last two friendlies, however, overcoming Reus Deportiu and Portugalete towards the end of last month.

4.38pmAs touched upon, Bilbao's final friendly will be against Alaves next weekend, before the Lions open their 2017-18 La Liga campaign at home to Getafe on August 20. In theory, Bilbao should be behind Liverpool in terms of preparations for the new campaign, but the Spanish club have played a lot of football since the end of last season. Still no sign of the team news from the Bilbao camp though!

Athletic Bilbao's Spanish forward Inaki Williams celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Europe League round of 32 football match Torino Vs Athletic Bilbao on February 19, 2015© Getty Images

4.42pmBilbao also have a new manager in place, with Jose Angel Ziganda stepping up from his position as head coach of Athletic Bilbao B. Ernesto Valverde had led the club for four years, but the 53-year-old has moved on to Barcelona this summer. Right, finally we have some team news from Bilbao...


LIVERPOOL: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Can, Milner, Grujic; Salah, Firmino, Origi

BILBAO: Kepa; Lekue, Boveda, Nunez, Saborit; Rico, San Jose; Merino, Cordoba, Aketxe; Williams

4.48pmIt is not much of a surprise to learn that Bilbao boss Ziganda has made wholesale changes following the club's Europa League clash on Thursday night. Inaki Williams, Mikel San Jose and Mikel Rico all start, but the likes of Raul Garcia, Oscar de Marcos, Iker Muniain and Aritz Aduriz are all absent. Fringe players Inigo Cordoba, Ager Aketxe and Unai Nunez will have the chance to impress.

Athletic Bilbao's defender Mikel San Jose (L) during the UEFA Champions League football match Athletic Club Bilbao vs FC Porto on November 5, 2014© Getty Images

4.52pmAs for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp's side will enter this match off the back of defeat to Atletico Madrid in the final of the Audi Cup on Wednesday night. The two teams played out a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes, but it was Atletico that won 5-4 on penalties to lift the silverware in the pre-season competition.

4.55pmIt has been an impressive pre-season for the Merseyside club, however, with successive 3-0 wins over Bundesliga duo Hertha Berlin and Bayern Munich taking place on July 29 and August 1 respectively. Those two successes followed back-to-back victories over Crystal Palace and Leicester City in the Premier League Asia Trophy, meanwhile, as Klopp's team landed the crown.

4.58pmLiverpool are still working on a couple of new signings ahead of the new season, but Mohamed Salah has been excellent for the Reds during pre-season. Eyebrows were raised when Liverpool paid £35.7m to sign the Egypt international from Roma after he struggled at Chelsea, but the attacker has already looked the part for the former English champions, and he starts again here.


5.05pmIn terms of what is ahead for Liverpool, this match will mark the end of their pre-season preparations. Indeed, the Reds will have a free week to prepare for a trip to Watford on the opening weekend of the new Premier League campaign. Pre-season is almost over, and Klopp will be finalising his plans for the trip to Vicarage Road on August 12. A tough opening game!

5.08pmWill Coutinho be in the Liverpool team for the trip to Watford? According to the club, the Brazilian misses out this afternoon with an injured back. However, speculation linking the attacker with a move to Barcelona is seriously gathering pace. It looks like Coutinho wants that Camp Nou move.

Jurgen Klopp celebrates with Philippe Coutinho after the Premier League game between West Ham United and Liverpool on May 14, 2017© SilverHub

5.12pmHere we go then - both sets of players have joined us on the pitch ahead of kickoff at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. This is very much an understrength Bilbao team, and it would be a surprise if Liverpool were not comfortable winners here. Let's hope for an entertaining pre-season fixture.

0 minKICKOFF! Liverpool kick things off in Dublin...

2 min... as expected, Liverpool have started on the front foot, with Firmino's movement already causing Bilbao's back four some problems. It must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere here.

4 minInaki Williams is very much playing through the middle for Bilbao, with Sabin and Cordoba supporting the Spain Under-21 international. The La Liga outfit are nice and tidy in possession, but Liverpool are the team looking more potent in the final third of the field. Good tempo to this game.

6 minDecent spell for Bilbao as the Spanish outfit enjoy a period of possession. Both teams have lined up in similar formations here, although Liverpool are committing more players in the final third.

8 minWilliams breaks into a one-on-one situation with Mignolet, but the offside flag had been raised. It was a smart save from the Belgian, who dropped down low to keep out the striker's effort. Liverpool are straight down the other end with Salah, but the attacker cannot pick out Origi.

10 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Liverpool as Firmino's cute pass finds Origi inside the Bilbao box, but the striker cannot find the bottom corner! Just wide from the Belgian!

13 minSalah looks to cut inside before feeding Can, but Lekue is across to make the challenge. Bilbao are struggling for possession at the moment as the Premier League club move through the gears here.

15 minIt would be fair to say that the majority inside this stadium are cheering for Liverpool, and the Reds are on top at the moment as they continue to force Bilbao into a defensive shape in Dublin.

17 minCHANCE! Another chance for Origi as Salah finds the Liverpool forward at the near post, but his header was always moving wide of the target. Decent opening once again.

19 minPass, pass, pass from Liverpool as Klopp's team continue to boss possession. That said, this understrength Bilbao team have already shown that they are capable of causing problems in the final third, especially through Williams. Still goalless with 19 minutes on the clock in Dublin.

20 minGrujic has a problem for Liverpool after taking a late challenge from Williams.


20 minLiverpool have a spot kick as Lekue brings Firmino to the ground with a poor challenge.

21 minGOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Bilbao (Firmino)

22 minFirmino squeezes his penalty into the bottom corner to send Liverpool ahead.

23 minLiverpool threaten once again as Salah fires the ball towards goal, but Kepa makes the save.

25 minAll Liverpool at the moment as the Premier League club continue to pass and probe.

28 minJust a reminder that Bilbao were in Europa League action on Thursday night, and therefore the Spanish outfit are without a number of their regular first-team players tonight. Liverpool are finding this pretty comfortable, especially when they are awarded time and space in the final third.

28 minCHANCE! Super chance for Bilbao to level as Williams slides a brilliant pass into Aketxe, but the number 23 can only fire wide of the post. Liverpool were caught there!

30 minGOAL! Liverpool 1-1 Bilbao (Williams)

31 minBilbao level the scores as Williams takes advantage of poor defending from Lovren to fire the ball into the bottom corner of the net. I am not too sure what Lovren was trying to do there!

33 minCredit to Bilbao for pulling themselves back into this football match. Liverpool have been pretty comfortable for long spells, but Williams's pace in the final third is causing all sorts of problems.

35 minHalf-chance for Bilbao as Cordoba breaks into the Liverpool box and manages to round Mignolet, but the Spaniard just goes too wide, and his resulting cross is cleared by Moreno.

37 minLittle under 10 minutes of the first period remaining, and we are expecting both managers to make changes at the interval. Liverpool have become quite sloppy in the last five or so minutes here.

40 minHalf-chance for Liverpool as Grujic rises inside the Bilbao box, but the midfielder's header is actually well wide of the post. Should have done better from that position. It remains 1-1 here.

40 minSAVE! Super chance for Liverpool to regain the leas as Moreno breaks into the Bilbao box, but the left-back cannot beat Kepa, who is down to make a smart save. Might have scored there!

43 minAgain Liverpool are untidy in a defensive area, with Sabin being allowed far too much space in the final third. Liverpool have been very impressive going forward during pre-season, but there are still question marks over their defence. Is the back four good enough for a Premier League title challenge?

45 minBilbao are dominating the possession in the latter stages of the first period.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Liverpool 1-1 Bilbao

6.02pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 1-1. Liverpool took the lead in the 21st minute when Firmino scored from the penalty spot, but Bilbao levelled nine minutes later through Williams. Bilbao ended the first period as the better team here.


6.12pmFlanagan, Mane, Robertson, Kent, Solanke and Wijnaldum are among those that are expected to feature for Liverpool in the second 45 minutes. As for Bilbao, Benat, De Marcos and Kike Sola should all be given minutes. Let's hope for another entertaining half of action from Dublin.

46 minRESTART! Bilbao resume the action here...

47 minLIVERPOOL'S SECOND-HALF XI! Mignolet; Flanagan, Gomez, Klavan, Robertson; Woodburn, Ejaria, Wijnaldum; Mane, Solanke, Kent

47 minSo, Klopp has made 10 changes at the interval, with only Mignolet keeping his spot. Bilbao, however, have kept with the same team from the first period. Let's play some football then!

49 minIt has been a decent start to the second period from Bilbao, who are enjoying possession of the ball. The Spanish side found Liverpool difficult to contain in the opening 25 minutes, but there is no question that the La Liga outfit finished the first period on the front foot.

51 minNot an awful lot to report in terms of chances in the early moments of this second period. I would be surprised if there were not more goals, however, when considering the talent on the field.

53 minQuite an untidy game at the moment as both teams are guilty of losing possession in the middle of the park. Neither goalkeeper has been worked since the two sides returned to the field here.

53 minCHANCE! Williams slides a pass into Cordoba, but the Bilbao forward cannot find a route past Mignolet. Again it was poor defending from Liverpool there.

55 minBilbao are the better team at the moment as Liverpool's untidiness continues here.

57 minSAVE! Wonderful save from Kepa to keep out a close-range strike from Mane!

59 minGOAL! Liverpool 2-1 Bilbao (Woodburn)

60 minLiverpool regain the lead just before the hour as Woodburn collects a cross from Solanke before curling the ball into the far corner of the net. Excellent finish from the young midfielder.

63 minIt is a very open game at the moment as both teams commit players in the final third of the field. Bilbao are having problems dealing with Mane, who has been excellent since entering at the break.

65 minBilbao's goalkeeper steps back to keep out a long-range strike from Kent.

68 minLittle over 20 minutes of this pre-season friendly remaining, and it is all Liverpool at the moment as the Premier League club look for a third. Bilbao are just struggling to keep the ball here.

70 minBILBAO SUBS! Benat and De Marcos have entered the field for Bilbao.

72 minBilbao just cannot get in the game at the moment as Liverpool continue to pass and probe in the final third. Mane and Solanke are causing problems with their pace and movement in the final third.

75 minAnother dangerous moment inside the Bilbao box as Kepa fails to meet a low cross from Solanke, but the ball just trickles behind as Liverpool continue to force the issue in Dublin.

78 minOh no, the Mexican Wave is here! The game is not that bad, come on!

79 minGOAL! Liverpool 3-1 Bilbao (Solanke)

80 minLiverpool have their third of the match as Solanke heads a Klavan cross into the back of the net.

82 minBilbao have faded badly in the last 20, 25 minutes here.

85 minBILBAO SUBS! Balenziaga and Sola are on for Bilbao here.

87 minNot an awful lot to report in the last few minutes as we approach the final stages here.

90 minMane again uses his pace to drive through the heart of Bilbao, but Sola is back to make the challenge as the Spanish giants survive another dangerous moment. Not long left here.

90 min+2FULL-TIME: Liverpool 3-1 Bilbao

7.07pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Liverpool running out 3-1 winners over Spanish outfit Bilbao at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!

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Dominic Solanke of Chelsea in action during the UEFA Youth League Quarter Final match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Chelsea Training Ground on March 10, 2015
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