Michael Sweeting brings you a round-up of Monday’s Academy games which provided the perfect remedy to a shocking first team display on Sunday.
Liverpool U17s 2-0 Aspire Academy
Alkass International Cup, Match One
A young Liverpool side took to the field against Qatari outfit Aspire Academy at half past one on Monday afternoon and they eventually overcame their stubborn hosts with goals from Jerome Sinclair and Dan Trickett-Smith.
The Reds however did not get off to the best of starts; possibly a combination of jet-lag, a humid climate and artificial pitch took some of the youngsters out of their comfort zone because they were sloppy straight from kick off, Niall Heaton guilty of giving the ball away cheaply within thirty-five seconds which led to a corner but thankfully no danger.
Heaton wasn’t the only one in a generous mood though, Daniel Cleary – who was withdrawn due to injury at half-time – on several occasions gifted the ball to the nimble Aspire strikers. While the Qatari side looked limited in their playmaking abilities they were more than effective on the counter and the early doziness of the Reds made them look extremely dangerous.
As the half wore on Liverpool began to exert more control over the game but were still unable to retain possession for more than four or five passes and even the captain Jordon Ibe looked out of sorts as Liverpool were stunned by their hosts energy and high pressure football.
Aspire, in contrast to Liverpool, looked comfortable as they managed to knock the ball around surprisingly well despite being massive underdogs for the fixture and were slightly unfortunate to not be ahead at half time having had more than one good opportunity to score. Their effort and exuberance was very impressive and they did the whole of the middle-east proud.
As the second half kicked off though Liverpool looked much calmer and within fourty seconds had got Alex O’Hanlon in behind the full back on the left wing. Although O’Hanlon was successfully tracked and tackled the resultant throw in was not well defended and a simple run by Dan Trickett-Smith completely unlocked the defence. Former Crewe midfielder Smith then chipped the ball across goal and Jerome Sinclair was alone in the six yard box and nodded Liverpool into a 1-0 lead.
The goal, mostly because of its absolute simplicity, looked a real blow for Aspire and you could see from the body language of the players that they believed their moment was gone. A lot of hard work was undone by sloppy marking off a throw in and Liverpool had been ruthless in punishing them.
Bar one half chance which Ryan Fulton did a good job to smother late in the second half there weren’t any more major scares for Liverpool and they finally rounded off the victory in the 85th minute. Dan Trickett-Smith got a little fortunate with a rebound, similar to Suarez on Sunday, and found himself one on one with the goalkeeper – he made no mistake is firing low and hard into the bottom left corner – giving Liverpool a victory they probably just about deserved on the day.
Liverpool U17s XI: Ryan Fulton (GK); Daniel Cleary [Cameron Brannagan], Lloyd Jones, Niall Heaton, Joe Maguire; Jordan Rossiter, Connor Randall, Dan Trickett-Smith; Alex O’Hanlon [Ryan Kent], Jordon Ibe, Jerome Sinclair [Louis Robles].
Liverpool U21s 3-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers U21s
Premier League Under 21 Elite Group Stage, Match 2
Unfortunately the game wasn’t televised because of the Brendan Rodgers press conference at 2pm and it proved to be a mistake by LFCtv to ignore it as Liverpool earned a dramatic late winner to make it two wins from two in the Elite Group stage.
Liverpool took the lead through Hungarian Krisztian Adorjan, he followed up on a shot by Samed Yesil and was able to tuck away the rebound. It was Adorjan’s seventh goal of the season – his best return in Liverpool shirt.
Liverpool have enjoyed a 13 game unbeaten run at the start of this season, including a 5-1 away win over Wolves, but after the break the visitors came out fighting and stunned Liverpool by getting a quick-fire double. The first was an own goal by captain Conor Coady, who was filling in at centre back for the depleted team, after a good move by Wolves and that was soon followed by a bundled home rebound from a missed penalty.
The lead wouldn’t last long though. American Marc Pelosi had trained with the Liverpool first team ahead of their ill-fated Oldham trip and that experience looked to have benefitted him as he fizzed in the Reds equaliser from twenty yards and then created the winner with a cross that was met by Samed Yesil in the 90th minute.
The U21s have now only dropped 6 points out of 42, won all their fixtures under Alex Inglethorpe and are still unbeaten this season.
Liverpool U21s XI: Danny Ward (GK); Ryan McLaughlin, Stephen Sama, Conor Coady, Marc Pelosi; Craig Roddan, Joao Teixeira; Adam Morgan, Krisztian Adorjan, Dani Pacheco; Samed Yesil.
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