Danny Ward has made a serious statement of intent as he continues to fight for the role as Liverpool’s first choice shot-stopper.
The 24-year-old spent last season on loan at newly-promoted Huddersfield Town but has since returned to Merseyside to be part of what Jurgen Klopp has set up as a three-way battle for the No.1 goalkeeping spot.
Wednesday night’s Audi Cup final defeat to Atlético Madrid served as further evidence that the Welshman is worthy of the opportunity he has been granted to make a name for himself this pre-season.
Ward caught the eye and, admittedly, surprised Reds supporters with a number of outstanding saves, including a stunning and cruelly unrewarded stop during the build up to Madrid’s opening goal.
The moment arrived just after the half hour mark when Ward produced an exquisite reflex save to tip a close range effort onto the bar, only for poor reactions from his defenders to result in Keidi Bare heading home the rebound. A save that deserved more.
One performance alone may well have put him right in the mix alongside Loris Karius, who is yet to convince in a Liverpool shirt.
The game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes, only for the Reds to lose the decisive penalty shootout.
Regardless of the result, it was a much-needed warning sign from Liverpool’s backup keeper to his teammates.
Here’s a look at Ward’s incredible first half stop…
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) August 2, 2017