Liverpool’s U23s beat West Ham U23s 2-0 on Monday night, with the returning Harry Wilson‘s double making it five Premier League 2 wins on the bounce for the young Reds.
Neil Critchley‘s side topped Premier League 2 going into the game, with wins over Swansea City and Sunderland giving them the perfect start, and victories over Arsenal and Man City keeping up their 100 percent record.
Critchley fielded a strong Liverpool lineup, particularly in midfield and attacking areas, with Cameron Brannagan, Ovie Ejaria, Rhian Brewster and Wilson all starting.
There was no sign of Ben Woodburn in the squad, with the 17-year-old likely to play a part for the first-team in their League Cup third round tie at Leicester on Tuesday night. The same applied to Danny Ings.
Ejaria was denied with just 11 seconds on the clock, with the midfielder’s side-footed effort saved by Nathan Trott. Brewster had a wonderful chance to open the scoring in the 12th minute, but seconds later Liverpool were in front.
Wilson’s shot made its way into the far corner from the right-hand side of the penalty area, although there were question marks about the goalkeeping. It was a happy return to the side for the 20-year-old, following an achilles injury.
The goalscorer nearly doubled the lead shortly after, firing over from close-range, but he had his second almost immediately.
It was a superb finish after a delightful first touch, and his quality left you wondering why he hasn’t been afforded more first-team opportunities by Jurgen Klopp.
West Ham should have been back in it with 24 minutes on the clock, after a reckless challenge by Conor Masterson earned the hosts a penalty. Kamil Grabara made the stop to deny Toni Martinez, though.
Matty Virtue and Corey Whelan both had good chances to make it 3-0 before the break, and Liverpool were in complete control when the half-time whistle blew.
Brewster hit the side-netting after the restart, as the Reds continued their dominance, and Wilson was denied his hat-trick after a top save by Trott.
The second-half well less eventful in general, though, with West Ham doing very little to worry Liverpool’s defence.
Brewster’s strike was comfortably stopped by Trott midway through the second-half, and the busy goalkeeper then kept out Herbie Kane’s looping header.
Wilson again had a wonderful opportunity to score his third of the night, but his strike was tame with his weaker right foot.
It was an extremely convincing performance by Critchley’s youngsters, who remain top of the table. Next up is
Liverpool: Grabara, Whelan, Masterson, Phillips, Johnston (Juanma 72′), Virtue, Kane, Brannagan (Dhanda 69′), Ejaria, Wilson, Brewster (Adekanye 83′).
Subs: Kelleher, Jones.