Adam Lallana sent off, Ings and Grabara impress as Liverpool U23s lose at Tottenham

5 February 2018

Liverpool’s U23s lost 1-0 to Tottenham and had two players sent off on Monday night, with Adam Lallana‘s shock red card the big talking point.


Tottenham U23s 1-0 Liverpool U23s

Premier League 2, Lamex Stadium
February 5, 2018

Goals: Roles 55′

Sent Off: Lallana 62′; Johnston 88′


It was a strong-looking team that Neil Critchley selected, with Reds three first-teamers named in his starting line-up.

Adam Lallana featured in midfield as he looked to get back to full fitness, while Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke led the line.

Ben Woodburn also started, and left-back Tony Gallacher made his debut after arriving from Falkirk at the end of January.

Herbie Kane captained the side for the first team and 18-year-old Adam Lewis made his first appearance at this level.

Liverpool’s youngsters knew that victory would take them six points clear of Leicester City at the top of the Premier League 2 table, with a game in hand still to play.

Ings and Solanke both missed glorious chances early on, with the latter somehow not converting with the goal gaping, and the former firing wide after an inch-perfect Woodburn pass.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 19, 2017: Liverpool's Danny Ings during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Leicester City and Liverpool at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Spurs goalkeeper Luke O’Reilly made a double save to deny the two strikers in the 19th minute, and Ings had two more chances to score.

Kazaiah Sterling and Jack Roles threatened for the hosts, and they enjoyed a sustained spell of dominance, opening up the Liverpool defence at will.

It was goalless at half-time, with Kamil Grabara‘s flying save to thwart Roles the last moment of note in the first half.

The faultless Grabara made a big stop to keep out Sterling shortly after the restart, and Roles fired over, as Spurs continued to be the better team.

Roles opened the scoring 10 minutes into the second half, finishing well, and it was nothing more than the hosts’ dominance deserved.

Critchley’s side struggled to muster much of a response, and just after the hour mark, Lallana was sent off in an out-of-character incident.

The 29-year-old completely lost his head after an aerial challenge with George Marsh, grabbing him by the neck before swiftly being given his marching orders.

Liverpool never really recovered from that point, and a feisty contest had plenty of flash points, with George Johnston also dismissed for the Reds in the dying minutes.

It was a terrible night, but the Reds still top the Premier League 2 pile.

 

Ings Wasteful But Promising, Solanke Struggles

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 23, 2017: Liverpool's Dominic Solanke looks dejected after missing a chance during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Leicester City and Liverpool at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Much has been made of Liverpool’s lack of squad depth following the departure of Daniel Sturridge to West Brom, with Ings and Solanke not managing a goal between them this season.

They were given the chance to get some much-needed confidence under their belt on Monday night, but it proved to be a frustrating night for the pair.

Ings may have missed a number of chances, but on the plus side he was a lively presence, with one sensational cross-field pass showing he is more than just a worker.

He always a looked a threat, even if he was wasteful.

Solanke, on the other hand, never managed to get into the game, and at times cut a downbeat character.

Nothing really came off for him and it is clear that he remains a young footballer very much developing his game.

 

Another Impressive Showing From Grabara

STEVENAGE, ENGLAND - Monday, September 19, 2016: Liverpool's goalkeeper Kamil Grabara in action against Tottenham Hotspur during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at Broadhall. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds’ goalkeeping woes have been much-publicised this season, with Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius failing to earn many plaudits.

Some have called for Danny Ward to be auditioned in the role, but there have been few mentions of Grabara being given a chance.

That is understandable when you consider he is still 19 years of age, but on Monday’s evidence, his opportunity may come sooner rather than later.

Everything the Pole did was full of conviction, both with his hands and his feet, and there was a calming influence you don’t always get with Mignolet and Karius.

He is a highly impressive figure and the future is very bright for him, whether that ends up being at Anfield or elsewhere.

 

Lallana’s Immaturity

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 21, 2017: Liverpool's Adam Lallana in action against Middlesbrough during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This was meant to be an evening that saw Lallana improve his match fitness, but it proved to be one to forget for various reasons.

The 29-year-old was never at the races at the Lamex Stadium, despite the odd trademark twist and turn, with a lack of pace on show after injury.

His sending off came from nowhere, and it was a moment that let his younger team-mates down, in a tight period in the game.

Quite why he lost his head is such surprising fashion remains to be seen, but Jurgen Klopp won’t be impressed by the incident.

TIA Man of the Match: Kamil Grabara

Liverpool U23s: Grabara, Masterson, Lewis, Johnston, Gallacher, Kane, Dhanda (Millar 72′), Lallana, Woodburn, Solanke, Ings.

Subs not used: Camacho, Kelleher, Gomes, N. Williams

Next Match: Bristol City (A) – Premier League Cup – February 13

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