KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 26, 2019: Liverpool's Bobby Duncan during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at The Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool U23s in goalless draw as Premier League Cup hopes fade

An inexperienced Liverpool U23s played out a dull draw with Burnley in the Premier League Cup on Friday, leaving their chances of qualification bleak.

Burnley U23s 0-0 Liverpool U23s

Premier League Cup, Sir Tom Finney Stadium
February 9, 2019

The young Reds took on the Clarets at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, in an important group stage clash.

Liverpool were bottom of Group C going into the game, but victory over Burnley and then Bournemouth in their last match would enhance their hops of qualifying for the next round greatly.

Neil Critchley made just one change to the side that drew 1-1 at home to Man City in Premier League 2 on Monday night, replacing Shamal George with Caoimhin Kelleher in goal.

There was no sign of Ben Woodburn, as he trained at Melwood with the first team instead.

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 19, 2018: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the pre-match warm-up before a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

  • Liverpool U23s travel to Burnley in Premier League Cup
  • Caoimhin Kelleher for Shamal George the only change
  • Reds disappointingly ineffective
  • U23s are 11 unbeaten – but 7 of them draws

Liverpool made the first opportunity of the game in just the third minute, as Rhys Williams‘ header was kept out well by Adam Legzdins.

Burnley, managed by former England international Steve Stone, were outplayed by their opponents in the early exchanges.

The hosts created almost nothing for the opening 25 minutes, in fact, and the closest they got was Dan Agyei almost stealing in, only for Williams to clear the danger.

The Clarets had the ball in the net soon after, but Rob Harker was adjudged to have been in an offside position, having converted from Josh Benson’s through ball.

It wasn’t a first half that will live long in the memory.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 26, 2019: Liverpool's Yasser Larouci during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at The Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The second half started in a similarly forgettable vein, with opportunities at a premium and Liverpool struggling to keep their Premier League Cup hopes alive.

Critchley’s side were disappointingly flat and it was Burnley looking the most likely to snatch a winner, with Harker denied from close range.

A goal didn’t come for either team, though, leaving Liverpool rooted to the bottom of Group C and without a win in five matches in the competition this season.

Bournemouth and West Brom face off in the other Group C fixture on Monday night, after which Liverpool will know their fate.

Victory for the Baggies would officially eliminate the Reds – they would go on to eight points and Liverpool have just four – but even a Cherries win would leave their hopes hanging by a thread.

The young Reds are now unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions, but seven of those have been draws.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 18, 2018: Liverpool's Rhys Williams celebrates scoring the first goal during the UEFA Youth League Group C match between Liverpool FC and Paris Saint-Germain at Langtree Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

TIA Man of the Match: Rhys Williams

Liverpool U23s: Kelleher; R.Williams, Johnston, Juanma; Randall, Coyle (Glatzel 76′), Sharif, Larouci (Longstaff 76′); Lewis; McAuley, Duncan

Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Dixon-Bonner

Next Match: West Ham (A) – Premier League 2 – Monday, February 18, 7pm (GMT)

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