Liverpool U23s 3-0 Swansea U23s
Premier League 2, Kirkby
September 15, 2018
Goals: Phillips 5′, Origi 27′, Solanke 31′
This gave Neil Critchley the opportunity to call upon the duo as part of a much-changed U23s as they took on the Swans at Kirkby.
Kicking off just after full-time in north London, the academy side dominated throughout, with Nathaniel Clyne and Nat Phillips starting in defence ahead of debutant Kai McKenzie-Lyle.
Phillips netted first, heading home from Chirivella’s corner within just five minutes, with the Spaniard then turning provider for Origi midway through the first half.
And Solanke found the back of the net just after the half-hour as he beat Josh Gould to make it 3-0 and seal the U23s’ first win of the campaign.
Clyne, Origi and Solanke all played 90 minutes, with Isaac Christie-Davies, Bobby Adekanye and Tony Gallacher coming on in the second half for Camacho, Jones and Adam Lewis.
McKenzie-Lyle, who joined Liverpool after his contract with Barnet expired this summer, kept a clean sheet on his debut.
Speaking to LFCTV after the game, Critchley described the 6’7″, 20-year-old Guyana international as “calm and assured,” adding “it’s nice to have him here.”
Though their involvement should be seen as a positive given their lack of first-team opportunities, that Clyne, Solanke and Origi dropped down to the U23s underlines their struggle.
And despite Firmino’s eye injury late on, Klopp was still able to introduce Sturridge to give Liverpool a late thrust up front.
It is difficult to envisage when either Solanke or Origi will be given significant game time this season, despite Klopp’s assertion before the win over Spurs that they remain important.
More likely, this U23s outing serves as a prelude to a January exit for the pair—though their fortunes over the coming weeks could shed further light on this.
Meanwhile, Bobby Duncan and Luis Longstaff both scored one and Fidel O’Rourke struck twice as the Liverpool U18s beat Newcastle earlier in the day.
Dutch defender Ki-Jana Hoever played the full 90 minutes on his debut at centre-back, with Elijah Dixon-Bonner and Edvard Tagseth both back in the starting lineup.
Liverpool U23s: McKenzie-Lyle; Clyne, Phillips, Johnston, Lewis (Gallacher 80′); Chirivella, Virtue, Jones (Christie-Davies 65′); Camacho (Adekanye 65′), Origi, Solanke
Subs not used: B. Williams, Masterson