Bradford City 1-3 Liverpool – Stephen Darby Baby

The Reds are back in action and all is right with the world once more. Pre-season isn’t usually something to shout about but every day that passes without the European Champions in action feels like a lifetime and now our heroes are finally returning.

The summer break has been eventful with our boys from Brazil becoming champions of another continent, while Sadio and Mo fight over Africa. The Women’s World Cup was of course a highlight, with the U.S retaining their crown. But all of football pales in comparison to these Reds.

Every game has made me appreciate the quality and rarity of the players that represent Liverpool Football Club. This summer was a lesson that not all fullbacks are Trent, no defender can match Virgil and no one can run like our captain. The best footballers in the world play in Liverpool red and no one can get near them.

The game itself was 2 games of 45, as is standard for preseason under Klopp. He gets the players to squeeze out every bit of energy in a very tense half of football before replacing them. This was evident in the thrashing of Tranmere on Thursday and in the fast-paced nature of the game on Sunday.

Liverpool pressed Bradford on the edge of their own box, winning possession regularly in dangerous positions mainly through Brewster with Milner, Lallana, Kent and Oxlade Chamberlain closing space and working exceptionally hard.

The Reds look poised to begin the 19/20 campaign and are incredibly fit already. It is clear that Jurgen demands a lot from his players in the off-season to stay in peak physical condition, as we look to surpass 90 points in the league again this season and retain our Champions League trophy.

Bradford City v Liverpool - Pre-Season Friendly : News Photo
James Milner of Liverpool scores the second goal from the penalty spot during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Bradford City and Liverpool at Northern Commercials Stadium on July 14, 2019 in Bradford, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Speaking of which, James Milner was very impressive. His fitness levels continue to amaze us as he continues his reign as the best long-distance runner at the club. His mobility versus Bradford was again astonishing as he led by example in harrowing the opposition and moving the ball quickly. He was the grown up in our side that dictated the pace of the game and ensured it remained at a level where Bradford could not compete. The difference in quality between him and the League 2 outfit was stark, despite the uncompetitive nature of the game.

The most important aim of the game however for either team, was not winning but to raise awareness for MND from which former Liverpool and Bradford City player, Stephen Darby suffers with that forced him to retire from football in 2018.

Bradford City v Liverpool - Pre-Season Friendly : News Photo
Stephen Darby of Bradford City and Liverpool shows his appreciation during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Bradford City and Liverpool at Northern Commercials Stadium on July 14, 2019 in Bradford, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

He formed the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation with Chris Rimmer, a former soldier in the British Army and a fellow Red. Together they attack MND by raising awareness, offering support to victims and donating towards research to find a cure. Sunday’s game was an immense success in shedding light on this rare disease and on the excellent work of these two men.

Onto the USA now for the pinstriped Reds as preparations continue for another action-packed season.

This is the start of something special.

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