Liverpool loanee keeps 11th clean sheet in 22 as left-back makes league debut

Liverpool goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga continued his excellent start to life on loan with an 11th clean sheet, while left-back Owen Beck took a big step.

Heading to non-league Macclesfield may have been a surprise move for Brazilian import Pitaluga, but it is proving to be a valuable loan spell for the 19-year-old.

The opportunity to test himself in difficult conditions, against physical, determined opponents, should steel him for the challenges ahead as part of Liverpool’s first-team squad.

It is encouraging, then, that Pitaluga’s record so far stands at 11 clean sheets in 22 games, with only 14 goals conceded in that time.

The teenager’s latest shutout came on Saturday, with a trip to Trafford in the West Division of the Northern Premier League, ending in a 1-0 victory.

Pitaluga made a series of saves in a game decided by ex-West Ham and Cardiff striker Nicky Maynard’s stunning bicycle kick, maintaining a four-point lead at the top of the table.

While the young stopper is plying his trade with Macclesfield, he still works daily with Liverpool at the AXA Training Centre, and last week was namechecked as part of a “really exciting” group by Jurgen Klopp.

2JNBJ5H Blackburn Rovers' Tyler Morton during the Carabao Cup, first round match at Ewood Park, Blackburn. Picture date: Wednesday August 10, 2022.

Elsewhere, there was disappointment for Tyler Morton as Blackburn suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat to bitter rivals Burnley in the Championship.

Morton made his 15th league start for Rovers but struggled to impose himself, with LancsLive‘s Elliott Jackson explaining that “the game completely passed him by in the second half.”

“Rovers were crying out for someone to put their foot on the ball and he should have been the one sticking his hand up,” was the assessment of a four-out-of-10 performance.

In Scotland, there were better fortunes for Leighton Clarkson as he played 88 minutes in Aberdeen’s 1-0 victory over Dundee United, signing off before a month-long break by climbing to third.

Rhys Williams produced a battling performance for 10-man Blackpool in their 2-1 defeat to Wigan, with centre-back partner Marvin Ekpiteta sent off in the 17th minute.

2JRCMAN Bolton Wanderers? Conor Bradley in action during the Carabao Cup second round match at the University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton. Picture date: Tuesday 23rd August, 2022.

Lower down in League One, Conor Bradley was joined on the pitch by Beck for the first time in the league, as the left-back came on for the final 12 minutes of Bolton’s 0-0 draw with Cambridge United.

It was a step forward for Beck, who has rarely been used since swapping Famalicao for Bolton at the end of August, and he can hopefully build on that as his side play on throughout the World Cup.

Fidel O’Rourke was unable to add to his recent run of goals as Caernarfon Town lost 2-1 to The New Saints, while Jack Bearne came off the bench in Kidderminster Harriers’ 3-0 loss to King’s Lynn.

There were 90 minutes at left-back for Anderson Arroyo as Alaves beat Lleida 1-0 in the Copa del Rey, and Billy Koumetio was also fielded on the left as Austria Wien II lost 2-0 to Rapid Wien II.

Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup

2JRPE8B August 25, 2022, Istanbul, Warsaw, Turkey: Billy Koumetio of Austria Wien during the UEFA Europa League Play-Off second leg match between Fenerbahce and Austria Wien at Ulker Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on August 25, 2022. ( Photo by Seskimphoto ) .LIGA EUROPY UEFA PILKA NOZNA SEZON 2022/2023.FOT. SESKIMPHOTO/NEWSPIX.PL.POLAND, TURKEY, GERMANY, AUSTRIA AND UK OUT !!!.---.Newspix.pl *** Local Caption *** www.newspix.pl .mail us: info@newspix.pl.call us: 0048 022 23 22 222.---.Polish Picture Agency by Ringier Axel Springer Poland (Credit Image: © Seskimphoto/Newspix via ZUMA Press)

Injured: Sepp van den Berg, Vitezslav Jaros, James Balagizi, Paul Glatzel
Unused: Adam Lewis, Max Woltman, Jakub Ojrzynski