Rhian Brewster scores again but Liverpool U23s suffer heavy defeat at Anfield

Rhian Brewster netted his second goal in as many games on Saturday evening, but that was one of few positives as the Liverpool under-23s lost 4-1 to Man City.

Liverpool U23s 1-4 Man City U23s

Premier League 2, Anfield
August 31, 2019

Goals: Brewster pen 12′; Harwood-Bellis 9′, Doyle pen 45+2′, Latibeaudiere 48′, Bernabe 73′

The young Reds, after back-to-back defeats to Tottenham and Chelsea to start the season, looked to build on a 4-2 win at Southampton last time out as they hosted City at Anfield.

Neil Critchley made two changes from that evening in Hampshire, with Dan Atherton coming in to replace Caoimhin Kelleher—on duty with the first team—in goal, while Neco Williams replaced Morgan Boyes.

This meant Ki-Jana Hoever shifted across to partner compatriot Sepp van den Berg at centre-back, and on the bench, Jakub Ojrzynski was named in the squad after receiving international clearance on Thursday.

It proved a difficult start for Liverpool, as Taylor Harwood-Bellis beat Atherton with a far-post header after just nine minutes, but the hosts were given a lifeline as Curtis Jones was brought down in the box.

Up stepped Brewster to net his second goal in as many games from the spot, but the 19-year-old’s penalty was cancelled out on the cusp of half-time by one from City’s Tommy Doyle.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - Wednesday, July 31, 2019: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Olympique Lyonnais at Stade de Genève. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

City piled on the misery soon after the break, with Joel Latibeaudiere converting from close range after Atherton made a smart save following a free-kick.

Brewster was lively throughout, and had another effort saved as the young Reds chased a comeback, but in the end, City put the result beyond doubt as Adrian Bernabe struck in the final 20 minutes to make it 4-1.

With just one win in four now in Premier League 2, this was a disappointing evening for Liverpool, with Brewster, Jones, Hoever, Van den Berg, Adam Lewis, Yasser Larouci and Harvey Elliott all players with many admirers within the club.

But it should come within context, as this is a very young side, with many operating alongside each other for the first time this season.

Nevertheless, Critchley will be looking for a quick turnaround when the U23s host Derby after the international break.

TIA Man of the Match: Rhian Brewster

Liverpool U23s: Atherton; N.Williams, Van den Berg, Hoever, Larouci (Gallacher 76′); Chirivella, Dixon-Bonner (Longstaff 83′), Lewis; Elliott, Jones, Brewster

Subs not used: Ojrzynski, Boyes, Clayton

Next Match: Derby (H) – Premier League 2 – Saturday, September 14, 3pm (BST)

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