Liverpool’s U19s produced a dominant display in the UEFA Youth League to put five past Napoli and progress to the next phase.
Liverpool U19s 5-0 Napoli U19s
UEFA Youth League Group Stage (6), Langtree Park, St Helens
December 11, 2018
Goals: Camacho 34′, Millar 42′, Glatzel 47′, Jones 50′, Duncan 85′.
The Reds needed a positive result to confirm their progression from the group phase and set about showcasing their authority over their Italian counterparts.
Liverpool were utterly dominant in the early stages, barely allowing Napoli out of their own half and creating a succession of chances—but the final touch was consistently missing.
The biggest early chance fell the way of Liam Millar; a low cross from the left saw him side-foot over the bar from just five yards out, but he was far from the only culprit.
For all that the finishing might have frustrated, though, this was an excellent first-half performance from the young Reds, who were quick to win the ball back and full of clever off-the-ball running.
Captain Adam Lewis thought he might have earned a penalty after he was caught late when challenging for a 50-50, but the ref instead signalled a Napoli free-kick for a high boot.
Camacho’s pace was causing problems for Napoli and his acceleration saw him burst away down the left and beat the goalkeeper who had come racing out—a foul and yellow card was the result.
More important was the subsequent phase of play: Napoli cleared the initial free-kick delivery, but Jones’ shot was deflected into the path of Camacho, who slid to steer home the opening goal just after the half-hour mark.
Jones missed a one-on-one as the chances kept coming and Millar tapped home from close range before the break, but he was flagged marginally offside.
It didn’t matter, though, as he scored again less than a minute later, side-footing home from six yards after a Camacho cross was palmed his way.
A two-goal lead at the break barely told the story, though, and Liverpool put a more realistic scoreline in place straight after the restart.
Glatzel latched onto a pass down the right channel and immediately lashed in a brilliant strike, in off the crossbar, for his 17th of the season.
Napoli were completely collapsing and Jones made it 4-0 two minutes later, turning back inside and drilling one low inside the near post.
After that point, both sides made a full five changes apiece and the flow of the game was affected as a result.
Chances still came and went, but the final word went to sub Bobby Duncan, who spun and rifled in a low shot from the edge of the box.
TIA Man of the Match: Rafa Camacho
Liverpool U19s: Jaros; N. Williams, Hoever, R. Williams, Lewis (Boyes 54′); Coyle (Clarkson 54′), Cain (Dixon-Bonner 80′); Jones, Millar, Camacho (Longstaff 54′); Glatzel (Duncan 69′).
Subs not used: Kelly, Clayton.
U18s Next match: Portsmouth (H) – FA Youth Cup – Tuesday, December 18, 7pm