Matty Virtue struck again as the Liverpool U23s returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-1 victory at home to Leicester City on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool U23s 3-1 Leicester U23s
Premier League 2, Kirkby
November 3, 2018
Goals: Virtue 11′, Christie-Davies 73′, Solanke 76′; Ughelumba 90′
Having suffered defeat in all three of their games in October, the young Reds headed into a new month eager to produce a much-needed return to form.
Neil Critchley made four changes to the side that lost 2-1 at Blackburn last time out, with Kamil Grabara, Juanma, Curtis Jones and Liam Millar dropping out.
Taking their places were Caoimhin Kelleher, Conor Masterson, Isaac Christie-Davies and Dom Solanke, with Masterson making his first appearance of the season after injury.
While before the game the onus was on Solanke to fire for the U23s, the opening goal came through a more regular source in captain Virtue.
It took the 21-year-old just 11 minutes to net his fifth goal in his last four league games, with Liverpool holding onto their lead going into half-time.
The hosts maintained their dominance after the break, as Critchley oversaw an impressive display with Bobby Adekanye his creative spark.
Having already laid on Virtue’s strike, the Dutchman was provider again with less than 20 minutes to play, this time teeing up Christie-Davies for his second goal for the club.
And soon after, Solanke got in on the action, netting to ensure the victory after great work from Rafa Camacho—though Calvin Ughelumba scored a late consolation for the Foxes on what was an emotional day for the visitors.
Having headed into the weekend three points from bottom in Premier League 2 with a game in hand, this serves as a priceless result for Liverpool as they move above Tottenham in the table.
For Virtue in particular, this compounded his efforts of late, with Critchley telling LiverpoolFC.com at the end of October that “if you are a goalscoring midfield player then people take notice of you.”
With the former Notts County loanee training regularly under Jurgen Klopp at Melwood over the past two months, this is clearly the case.
TIA Man of the Match: Bobby Adekanye
Liverpool U23s: Kelleher; N.Williams, Masterson, Johnston, Lewis; Virtue (Juanma 79′), Chirivella, Christie-Davies; Adekanye, Camacho, Solanke
Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Gallacher, Millar, McAuley
Next Match: Burnley (H) – Premier League Cup – Sunday, November 11, 1pm