Liverpool U23s lost 2-0 at home to Everton in Premier League 2 on Monday, with the Blues taking the bragging rights in the mini-derby.
Liverpool U23s 0-2 Everton U23s
Premier League 2, Anfield
March 4, 2019
Goals: Broadhead 8′, 87′
After the two senior sides shared a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park at the weekend, it was over to the youngsters to lock horns at Anfield.
Neil Critchley made four alterations to the team that won 2-0 at Bournemouth in the Premier League Cup on Friday, in what was a strong lineup.
Caoimhin Kelleher replaced Shamal George in goal and hugely exciting prospect Ki-Jana Hoever returned to the side at the expense of Juanma.
There were also starts for Curtis Jones and Rafa Camacho, who came in for Abdi Sahrif and Glen McAuley.
There was no place for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as had been previously speculated, with the returning midfielder instead due to play at Derby County on Friday.
Everton, leading the way by four points in Premier League 2, would be a big test.
- Liverpool U23s host Everton in the mini-derby
- Four changes for the Reds; starts for Hoever, Jones and Camacho
- Broadhead fires Everton ahead early on
- Visitors lead at the break but chances for Liverpool
- Reds huff and puff but can’t find an equaliser
- Broadhead scores his second late in the day
- Blues pull clear at the top of Premier League 2; Liverpool remain fifth
A good crowd of 4,362 was present at Anfield to witness the action unfold. Jurgen Klopp was also in attendance eyeing up the next generation of Reds, along with Pepijn Lijnders and John Achterberg.
A looping header by Lewis Gibson hit the underside of the bar in the early minutes, but the Everton youngster was adjudged to be in an offside position.
The Blues were ahead in the eighth minute, though, after Josh Bowler crossed for Nathan Broadhead to fire home from close range.
Isaac Christie-Davies lost the ball in the lead up to the goal, summing up a sloppy start to the game by Critchley’s side.
Bassala Sambou shot wide soon after, as the hosts bossed matters, showing precisely why they are on course for Premier League 2 glory.
Liverpool’s first attempt on goal came from Ben Woodburn but his volley was scuffed and harmless. Fraser Hornby headed over unmarked at the other end.
Hoever and Camacho (twice) both missed the target as the Reds grew into the game as the first half went on.
Kelleher got himself in a mess seconds before half-time but Corey Whelan bailed him out, before Broadhead chipped narrowly wide.
Christie-Davies flicked a header over the bar and Sambou missed a glorious chance to double Everton‘s lead after being sent clean through, in an entertaining start to the second half.
Bowler was fortunate not to be shown a read after a dreadful tackle on Woodburn, which left the Welshman furious with the referee.
Kelleher made two excellent saves to keep out Nathan Markelo and Ryan Astley, following some slack defending from Liverpool.
Connor Randall tried his luck from distance but shot into the Kop, as the Reds became increasingly desperate in their search for an equaliser.
Everton had a second goal three minutes from time, thanks to Broahdead’s second well-taken strike of the evening.
Liverpool were never at their best throughout on a soaking wet night at Anfield, and their rivals have pulled further clear at the top of Premier League 2.
The young Reds are next in action on Friday at Derby—a match that Oxlade-Chamberlain is scheduled to play in.
TIA Man of the Match: Caoimhin Kelleher
Liverpool U23s: Kelleher; Hoever (McAuley 74′), Whelan, Johnston; Randall, Coyle (Gallacher 66′), Christie-Davies, Lewis; Camacho, Jones, Woodburn
Subs not used: George, Juanma, Masterson
Next Match: Derby County (A) – Premier League 2 – Friday, March 8, 2pm (GMT)