Pedro Chirivella plays the hero turned villain as Liverpool U23s penalty woe strikes again

17 December 2018

Liverpool U23s drew 1-1 away to Swansea U23s in Premier League 2 on Monday night, with stoppage time drama twice going against the Reds.


Swansea U23s 1-1 Liverpool U23s

Premier League 2, Landore Training Ground
December 17, 2018

Goals: Chirivella (65′), Cullen (90′)

Sent-off: Maric (87′)

Missed pen: Chirivella (90′)


The Reds were looking to kick on after their impressive 4-1 victory over Arsenal in their last outing, as they faced their final match of the year.

Rock-bottom Swansea stood before Critchley’s youngsters at Landore Training Ground, with the visitors favourites to prevail.

There were four changes from the side that thumped Arsenal, with Caoimhin Kelleher preferred to Kamil Grabara in goal.

Neco Williams came in at right-back, despite the promising form of 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever, and Curtis Jones and Liam Millar replaced Rafa Camacho and Lazar Markovic.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, August 17, 2018: Liverpool's manager Neil Critchley during the Under-23 FA Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Young Reds visit Swans for final game of 2018
  • Four changes from 4-1 win over Arsenal
  • Chances come and go in low-key first-half
  • Chirivella opens the scoring in 65th minute
  • Maric sent-off late on after lashing out at Millar
  • Cullen equalises in stoppage time; Chirivella misses 97th-minute penalty
  • Two precious points dropped in Premier league 2

Millar forced Gregor Zabret into an early save after good pressing by Isaac Christie-Davies, as the Reds started on the front foot.

Jones should have done better at the back post from Adam Lewis’ fierce delivery, but the midfielder was a typically silky figure early on.

Swansea grew into the game as the first half progressed without creating anything of note, although a horrible slice by Pedro Chirivella almost ended up in his own net.

Jones was thwarted by Zabret after a driving run and Juanma was booked for a foul on Jordon Garrick, with Liam Cullen firing wide from the resulting free-kick.

Conor Masterson almost pounced after an uncharacteristic burst into the penalty area and Christie-Davies then headed wide.

Chirivella sent a looping header wide with the goal gaping, after a mix-up at the back from Swansea, and Jones dinked over the crossbar after a defence-splitting pass by the Spaniard, who also volleyed over as Liverpool ended the half well.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Tuesday, July 10, 2018: Liverpool's Pedro Chirivella during a preseason friendly match between Tranmere Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Prenton Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Liverpool took the lead midway through the second half, with Lewis showing wonderful persistence in the lead-up to the goal.

The 19-year-old sent in a looping cross after great footwork, before Millar teed-up Chirivella to stroke home a lovely finish.

The Reds were largely in control from that point on, with Masterson a particularly dominant figure at the heart of the defence.

Given the injuries to the senior team in that position and his fine pre-season showing, Jurgen Klopp would no doubt have enjoyed seeing Masterson’s display.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, April 23, 2018: Liverpool's Conor Masterson during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and AS Roma. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Millar tried his luck from distance, testing Zabret, and substitute Glen McAuley couldn’t quite capitalise after some shaky defending.

Swansea captain Adnan Maric was sent-off with three minutes left after a clash with Millar but there was still time for two late twists.

Cullen equalised in stoppage time to leave the Reds ruing their missed chances, before Chirivella saw his 97th-minute penalty saved by Zabret.

It ended up being a deeply frustrating night for Critchley and his players, as well as two points dropped.

Next up for the U23s is a trip to Tottenham early in the New Year, as the young Reds try to work their way up Premier League 2.


TIA Man of the Match: Conor Masterson

Liverpool U23s: Kelleher, N Williams, Juanma, Masterson, Johnston, Coyle (Ritaccio 89′), Chirivella, Jones (McAuley 62′), Lewis, Christie-Davies, Millar.

Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Savage

Next Match: Tottenham (A) – Premier League 2 – Monday, Jan 7, 7pm

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