Liverpool U19s lost on penalties to Man City in the Uefa Youth League quarter-finals on Wednesday afternoon despite taking a first-half lead.
Man City U19s 1-1 Liverpool U19s (3-2 on pens)
UEFA Youth League, Academy Stadium
March 14, 2018
Goals: L. Nmecha 40′; Jones 38′
Lewis – SCORED
F. Nmecha – SCORED
Adekanye – SCORED
Francis – SAVED
Jones – SAVED
Doyle – SCORED
Masterson – SAVED
L. Nmecha – SCORED
Kane – MISSED
Steven Gerrard’s U19s travelled to Manchester in search of a place in the semi-finals of the Uefa Youth League where they hoped to test themselves against Barcelona.
It was a strong Liverpool side as Ben Woodburn played in a false nine position with Raphael Camacho taking up a midfield role in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Curtis Jones netted his fifth goal of the European campaign late in the second half after neat work and slick skills from Liam Millar down the right.
It was a strong start from the Reds but City had their chances and it wasn’t long before Lukas Nmecha’s powerful free-kick took a deflection off Woodburn to equalise for the hosts shortly before half-time.
Bobby Adekanye was a bright spark for the visitors and he first tested City’s defence after he was played in by Jones on the right before his cross was intercepted at the death by defender Eric Garcia.
Jones and Adekanye then combined again on the opposite flank to set up a golden opportunity for Conor Masterson to make it 2-1 with only a minute to go before the break but Daniel Grimshaw produced a fine save from close range.
Luke Bolton was set free through the middle seconds into the second half but instead of slipping it to team-mate and former Barcelona winger Ian Carlo Poveda, he tried to beat Grabara and the Liverpool goalkeeper was equal to it.
Nmecha then should have given City the lead but the ball bounced off the side of his thigh from two yards out before younger brother Felix was denied by a superb diving save from Grabara during a period of domination from City.
Both teams searched for a winner in the second half—with Woodburn, Jones, Adekanye and George Johnston all coming close but the two teams had to settle it with a penalty shootout.
Grabara made the first save of the shootout before Jones, Masterson and Herbie Kane missed their spot-kicks to hand City the victory.
TIA Man of the Match: Curtis Jones
Liverpool U19s: Grabara; N. Williams, Masterson, Johnston, Lewis; Kane, Jones, Camacho; Adekanye, Millar, Woodburn (Sharif)
Subs not used: Jaros, R. Williams, Clayton, Boyes, Larouci, McAuley