Osasuna coach Jagoba Arrasate said his side were blown away by a vastly ‘superior’ Liverpool during their 3-1 pre-season defeat to the Premier League giants on Monday, while speaking to Noticias de Navarra.
If a comfortable victory in front of a bouncing Anfield crowd was anything to go by, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds appear to be chomping at the bit as they look to make up for a miserable 2020/21 campaign.
Even without the likes of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, Liverpool ripped Osasuna to shreds during a fearsome first-half display capped by two fine Roberto Firmino finishes.
The silky Takumi Minamino was outstanding in a left-wing role while Kostas Tsimikas also continued his fine pre-season form with a wonderful assist for Firmino’s first.
While he wasn’t exactly overworked, Ibrahima Konate caught the eye too with his outstanding distribution from centre-half, including one raking diagonal that Virgil van Dijk would have been proud of.
Could Minamino, Tsimikas and Konate start in Liverpool’s Premier League opener?
“This was a team who was so superior to us, who hurt us with the ball but, when they didn’t have it, also recovered the ball quickly and won so many duels,” said Arrasate, whose Osasuna side pulled one back late on thanks to former Middlesbrough striker Kike Garcia.
“You are taking steps forward but, when you face these teams, you realize that you are still far from being at this level.”
With Andy Robertson suffering an ill-timed ligament injury – albeit one that should not keep him out for too long – Tsimikas could be rewarded with a starting berth in Saturday’s Premier League opener against Norwich City.
The former Olympiakos flyer has been one of Liverpool’s stand-out performers in recent weeks.
And Minamino’s display – arguably his finest in the famous red shirt –could give Klopp a welcome headache with just over two weeks of the transfer window remaining.