Liverpool under-23s suffered their first league defeat since August, losing 1-0 at Man City on Friday night.
Man City U23s 1-0 Liverpool U23s
Premier League 2, City Academy Stadium
October 28, 2016
Goals: Fernandes (23)
There was no Danny Ings in Michael Beale’s squad, but it was still a very strong lineup, featuring Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria who had their full debuts for the first-team three days earlier.
There was also Tiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho in defence, with a total of nine players from the starting XI to have featured for Jurgen Klopp‘s first-team either in competitive or pre-season fixtures.
After a slow start, City took the lead through Paolo Fernandes with a cool finish past Coaimhin Kelleher in the 23rd minute.
City almost doubled their lead shortly after but Kelleher produced good saves to deny Javairo Dilirosun and Rodney Kongoloas the Reds lost control of the game.
And the Irish stopper was again called into action shortly before half-time, making another good save low down to keep the score at 1-0 at the interval.
- 9 of LFC XI have featured under Klopp for either first-team or pre-season
- Kelleher made three good saves to keep score at 1-0 in first half
- Ejaria and Alexander-Arnold play three days after full debuts for first-team
A half-time change for Liverpool saw Jordan Williams come on in midfield, replacing forward Brooks Lennon. The change saw Liverpool regain more control of possession in the second half.
Williams was booked just five minutes into the second half, despite clearly winning the ball even if it was a firm challenge, then almost equalised when his shot from the edge of the box was blocked and City somehow managed to scramble it away.
Alexander-Arnold tested City keeper Angus Gunn – son of former Norwich City keeper Bryan Gunn – with a powerful hit midway through the second half but Liverpool struggled to create too many clear cut chances.
Kelleher was again forced into action, this time saving with his feet after a low cross saw the City forward clip a shot goalbound at the front post. The Reds keeper was the only one really to play well in the game.
Some sloppy play from Sakho gave City another opportunity to increase their lead, and Liverpool failed to push for an equaliser.
It was Michael Beale’s team’s first league defeat since August, against Chelsea, having won five of their six games since.
The young Reds face Porto in the International Premier League Cup next at home on Wednesday night.
TIA Man of the Match: Caoimhin Kelleher
Liverpool U23s: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold (Whelan 83), Ilori, Sakho, Maguire; Chirivella, Brannagan, Ejaria (T. Gomes 81); Wilson, Woodburn, Lennon (Williams 45).
Subs not used: Firth, Virtue.
Man City U23s: Gunn, Horsfield, Humphreys, Adarabioyo, Angelino, Diallo, Bolton, Kongolo, Diaz, Fernandes, Dilrosun.
Subs not used: O’Brien, Francis, Smith, Patching, Hardy.
Next Match: Porto (H) – Wednesday November 2nd (7pm)