Nathaniel Clyne features but Liverpool U23s suffer defeat in Premier League Cup

21 March 2018

Liverpool’s U23s succumbed to a 3-1 defeat away to Middlesbrough U23s on Wednesday evening, as they crashed out of the Premier League Cup in the last 16.


Middlesbrough U23s 3-1 Liverpool U23s

Premier League Cup last-16, Bishop Auckland
March 21, 2018

Goals: Curry 1′, 37′ & 58′; Virtue 65′

Missed pen: Curry 84′

Neil Critchley made seven changes to the side that lost 2-1 at home to Man United last Friday, but the most notable addition was Nathaniel Clyne.

The right-back has not played at all for the first-team this season because of a back injury, but this was another major step in the right direction.

With many players away on international duty, Adam Bogdan earned a surprise start in goal, and Tony Gallacher, Matty Virtue, Bobby Adekanye, Yan Dhanda and Toni Gomes also came in.

A win at Bishop Aukland would have secured a place in the quarter-finals.

EXETER, ENGLAND - Friday, January 8, 2016: Liverpool's goalkeeper Adam Bogdan in action against Exeter City during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at St. James Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Clyne starts as injury recovery continues
  • 7 changes to the side that lost to Man United; Adam Bogdan comes in
  • Mitchell Curry fires ‘Boro ahead after just 45 seconds
  • Bogdan gifts Curry his second of the night; Reds create numerous first-half chances
  • Curry completes his hat-trick; Matty Virtue gets a goal back
  • Neil Critchley‘s side out of Premier League Cup

Liverpool’s youngsters found themselves 1-0 down with just 45 seconds on the clock thanks to a superb effort by Mitchell Curry.

Luke Armstrong almost poached a second for the hosts a few minutes later, as the Reds made a very shaky start to proceedings in the north east.

Virtue headed harmlessly over the crossbar, in what was Liverpool’s first opportunity of note, and former Reds defender Tom Brewitt missed the target for ‘Boro. after arriving at the back post.

Clyne was a solid presence at right-back, but the 26-year-old did make one poor error of judgment with a header, allowing Robbie Tinkler to shoot over.

Adekanye hit the target, Rafa Camacho curled narrowly wide and Virtue forced Zachary Hemming into an excellent save, as Liverpool looked to respond before the interval.

The visitors were soon 2-0 down, though, as Bogdan produced a howler. The Hungarian dropped a routine catch, and Curry was on-hand to fire into an empty net.

Hemming again denied the lively Camacho, and just before the break, Dhanda’s free-kick flew agonisingly wide of the target.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 17, 2016: Liverpool's coach Neil Critchley during the FA Youth Cup 3rd Round match against Crystal Palace at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Critchley’s side huffed and puffed in the early second-half exchanges, but just before the hour mark, ‘Boro were out of sight.

Curry completed his hat-trick, with his finish creeping past the dive of Bogdan, who again didn’t exactly cover himself in glory.

Virtue quickly pulled a goal back, following good work by Gomes, and Liverpool produced a spirited fightback, with Adekanye looking dangerous.

It wasn’t to be, though, and there was still time for Curry to blaze a penalty over with an effort Charlie Adam would have been proud of.

It is time to focus on Premier League 2 commitments again.

TIA Man of the Match: Bobby Adekanye

Liverpool: Bogdan, Clyne, Phillips, Masterson, Gallacher (Johnston 71′), Kane, Virtue, Adekanye, Dhanda, Camacho, Gomes.

Subs not used: George, R Williams, Sharif, McAuley.

Next Match: Arsenal (H) – Premier League 2 – April 6

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