Chelsea hand Liverpool youngsters a tough lesson which would be a “crime” not to learn from

It will have been a “crime” from Liverpool’s youngsters should they fail to learn from the experience and quality on display in the recent defeat to Chelsea.

The Reds’ under-23s, led by Neil Critchley, fell to their second successive defeat to the tune of 3-0 at the hands of Chelsea in a Premier League 2 clash on Monday.

Liverpool fielded a strong lineup which included the likes of Caoimhin Kelleher and Sepp van den Berg, both returning from injury, who were flanked by Ki-Jana Hoever, Harvey Elliott, Rhian Brewster and Yasser Larouci among others.

But the Blues possessed senior figures in Antonio Rudiger and Michy Batshuayi, the latter of whom scored a double alongside a Faustino Anjori strike to ensure the young Reds were again on the wrong side of the scoreline.

It was a largely disjointed affair and while Critchley was left to lament “a tough night”, valuable lessons will undoubtedly emerge from the defeat.

“That was a tough night, to be honest. There were a million moments where we could have done a lot better in and loads of situations in and out of possession where we failed,” he told the official club website.

NUNEATON, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 29, 2017: Liverpool's Under 23's manager Neil Critchley during a pre-season friendly between Liverpool and Coventry City at the Liberty Way Stadium. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

“We stuck at it and showed a bit of character towards the end, but the game was gone at that stage. The manner in which we got beat and our performance was disappointing really.

“I thought Rudiger and Batshuayi played the game properly and they were a credit to themselves, real professionals,” he added. “They showed a proper good attitude and were a great example to not only their players, but ours as well.

“That was a tough night for our defenders playing against Batshuayi and our forwards against Rudiger.

“The biggest crime from the game is if we don’t take anything from this. If we don’t learn from it, we don’t improve and don’t look to improve then that’s worse than the defeat.”

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 19, 2018: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool were far from their best throughout proceedings and remain on the pursuit to see the team gel together after a few new faces were added to the fold through a rise in the ranks or in the transfer window.

“We looked a bit disjointed and we looked a new team playing for the first time on the pitch.

“We made quite a few changes from our last game and it does take time to build those relationships. We didn’t have that on the pitch, it will take time.

“But again, the boys have to show that right mentality every day in training and that willingness to learn.

“It was tough at times but we have to dust ourselves down, learn from it, move on and see if we can do better in the next game.”

That next game comes in the form of a trip to Southampton, who have one loss and one win to their name thus far, on Monday evening.