Liverpool U23s 2-0 Everton U23s
Premier League 2, Prenton Park
October 23, 2016
Goals: Lennon 49′, Wilson 77′
After the first team and Under-18s both enjoyed success over West Bromwich Albion and Derby County respectively on Saturday, Michael Beale’s U23s took to Tranmere on Sunday afternoon.
On a run of five Premier League 2 games unbeaten, the U23s will have been desperate to keep it going against their bitter rivals, and they did so emphatically.
- Sakho, Ilori, Chirivella, Brannagan and Woodburn all involved
- Young Reds dominate first half but fail to score
- Lennon puts Liverpool 1-0 up with great header after break
- Wilson adds to tally with fine volley from range
- Grabara in strong form between the sticks to keep clean sheet
Liverpool made a bright start at Prenton Park, with Woodburn, Lennon and captain Wilson all combining to create an opening in the early stages, but the latter missed the target.
With Connor Randall providing great support down the right flank, the 21-year-old sent a number low crosses into the box, most notably when played in by a great ball from Matty Virtue, but he couldn’t find a team-mate.
However, when Wilson drifted wide to benefit from some perseverance from the experienced right-back, the Reds created their best opening.
Receiving the ball, Brannagan played the Welshman through on 41 minutes, but Toffees goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt got across to make the stop.
Everton midfielder Kieran Dowell had a great chance to put his side 1-0 up before half-time after Sakho conceded a foul on the edge of the box, but his free-kick sailed over and referee Thomas Bramall blew for the interval.
Beale will have been full of praise for his side at half-time, and the U23s manager enjoyed the fruits of the Reds’ dominance early into the second half, with Lennon rising to head home a cross from left-back Joe Maguire.
Another smart pass from Maguire opened up the Everton defence after the hour mark, but despite finding Woodburn in the penalty area, the youngster’s cutback was easily cleared.
But it wasn’t long before the Reds were 2-0 up, with Wilson producing another moment of pure brilliance, firing a 20-yard volley low and beyond Hewelt.
Grabara, a clear star of the future, made another great stop after the ball deflected off Ilori in the penalty area, with the Pole inspiring Liverpool to hold on for a priceless derby victory.
TIA Man of the Match: Harry Wilson
Referee: Thomas Bramall
Liverpool U23s: Grabara; Randall, Ilori, Sakho, Maguire; Virtue, Chirivella; Wilson, Brannagan (Alves 88′), Woodburn (Gomes 86′); Lennon (Juanma 90+3′)
Subs not used: Firth, Whelan
Everton U23s: Hewelt; Kenny, Robinson (Dyson 61′), Holgate, Connolly; Davies, Walsh, Dowell, Charsley (Duffus 71′), Jones; Calvert-Lewin
Subs not used: Renshaw, Varney, Sambou