WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 4, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool loanee earns Man of the Match after shocking Championship club

Eighth-tier Macclesfield took on West Brom on Tuesday night, with Liverpool loanee Marcelo Pitaluga excelling as he kept a clean sheet in victory.

The early weeks of pre-season are largely used to build up fitness and prepare for the months ahead, rather than any real marker of progress on the pitch.

That showed as Liverpool fell to a 4-0 loss to Man United in Bangkok on Tuesday, with the short time back in training leading to a disjointed performance as 32 players featured.

Back in England, Championship outfit West Brom were shocked with a 2-0 defeat away to National League side Macclesfield, with Reds youngster Pitaluga playing a pivotal role.

The 19-year-old, who made a surprise move to Moss Rose at the beginning of July, made his second appearance for Macclesfield and produced a series of excellent saves.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, 20 February, 2022: Liverpool’s goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga runs out for the second-half during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-23’s and Blackburn Rovers FC Under-23’s at the Liverpool Academy. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Pitaluga was particularly busy early on, as a Macclesfield side including five trialists looked to find their feet, with the Brazilian a reliable presence between the sticks.

And he kept his concentration as the Silkmen took the lead on the half-hour, with a stroke of fortune then allowing them to make it 2-0 and clinch a big win in the second half.

After the game, Pitaluga was unveiled as Man of the Match, with Macclesfield supporters hailing their new No. 1:

Speaking to Silkmen TV after the game, manager Danny Whitaker praised Pitaluga, saying: “Marcelo put in a good, good, solid performance, commanding his box. He made some fantastic saves.”

“Me and the goalkeeper coach Dom, we spoke about that and highlighted that in terms of commanding his box, being on the front foot, coming out for crosses and punching or catching if he can,” he added.

“So that was something we were going to be working on this week, and it was just fantastic to see that he has got that in his locker.

“Maybe it will just take him a few more games to settle down and get used to this new environment and the players around him.

“So based on that, hopefully he kicks on and keeps progressing.”

Macclesfield still have eight more friendlies to take in this pre-season, with Pitaluga to gain further experience against the likes of Huddersfield, Blackpool and Wrexham.