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Joe Gomez makes competitive return in Liverpool U23s’ 4-0 cup win over Burnley

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Joe Gomez continued the road to recovery as he played 90 minutes of the Liverpool U23s’ 4-0 win at home to Burnley in the Lancashire Senior Cup.

Liverpool U23s 4-0 Burnley U23s

Lancashire Senior Cup Quarter-Final, Kirkby
November 23, 2016

Goals: Madger 19′, Virtue 45′, 55′, 82′

The Young Reds welcomed their Turf Moor counterparts to Kirkby on Wednesday evening, to play out their quarter-final clash.

Michael Beale called upon a strong U23s lineup, with Gomez making his first competitive appearance since returning from a year on the sidelines with an ACL injury.

The 19-year-old is working towards his first-team comeback, looking to gain further experience at U23 level as he works towards full fitness.

Gomez was named alongside Tiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho in Beale’s back line, along with the likes of Kamil Grabara, Juanma, Cameron Brannagan, Madger Gomes and Toni Gomes.

It didn’t take the Reds long to break the deadlock, with Madger driving the ball past Conor Mitchell from 25 yards, after both Brannagan and Sakho had gone close.

Gomes almost made it 2-0 as Liverpool dominated, but it was midfielder Matty Virtue who extended the lead just before half-time.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 23, 2016: Liverpool's Madger Gomes celebrates scoring the first goal against against Burnley during the Lancashire Senior Cup 2nd Round match at the Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After an excellent opening 45, Beale’s Reds carried their momentum into the second half, and it took just 10 minutes for Virtue to add his second of the night, lashing into the bottom corner after Gomez’s pass.

This sparked the Clarets into life, with first Grabara and then Gomez drawn into action, with the latter making a fine tackle to deny Tundi Bayode on the charge.

With Beale bringing on Paolo Alves, Nathan Phillips and Jake Brimmer in the second half, the former Chelsea youth coach put his faith in Gomez to see out the full 90 minutes.

Liverpool kept up the pressure, and Virtue was rewarded for his endeavour as he added his third of the night to seal the victory, with Gomez helping to keep an impressive clean sheet on his return to action.

The U23s now advance to the semi-finals of the Lancashire Senior Cup, while their next Premier League 2 outing comes away to Derby County on November 28, with Gomez likely to feature again.

TIA Man of the Match: Matty Virtue

Referee: Paul Marsden

Liverpool U23s: Grabara; Whelan (Alves 60′), Ilori, Gomez, Sakho (N. Phillips 71′), Juanma (Brimmer 75′); Virtue, Williams, Brannagan; M. Gomes, T. Gomes

Subs not used: Firth, Lennon

Burnley U23s: Mitchell; Younger, Dunne, Olomewewe, Koiki (Wilson 85′); Birch, O’Neil, Howarth, Jackson; Jumeau (Metz 68′), Bayode (Wood 85′)

Subs not used: King, Clarke

Next match: Derby County (A) – Premier League 2 – November 28

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