Herbie Kane struck a brilliant goal late on as the Liverpool under-23s edged a close Merseyside derby to seal a 2-1 win over Everton in Premier League 2.
Liverpool U23s 2-1 Everton U23s
Premier League 2, Kirkby
November 2, 2019
Goals: Gallacher 14, Kane 85′; Adeniran 37′
A mix of U23s staples and youthful faces took to the field at Kirkby in heavy rain on Saturday afternoon, with Neil Critchley without Neco Williams, Sepp van den Berg and Rhian Brewster.
Both Williams and Brewster travelled with the first team to Villa Park, and the manager was forced to promote James Norris from the under-18s to start at full-back, and shift Yasser Larouci into an unorthodox role up front.
The likes of Pedro Chirivella, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones did all start, however, and the captain in particular provided the spark in the first half.
But the opener came from an unlikely source in Tony Gallacher, whose low effort from outside the box found the bottom corner via a big deflection.
Everton had levelled before the break, though, with the equaliser coming from Dennis Adeniran, who continually exploited the debuting Norris, beating the left-back to fire home for 1-1.
Elliott survived a brief injury scare in the second half, while Chirivella tested the visitors’ back line with two efforts in quick succession—though Everton also had plenty of chances to go ahead.
Critchley opted for a reshuffle with 20 minutes to play as Jones took up duties up front, with Elliott and Larouci switching flanks throughout the closing stages.
The Blues had the ball in the back of the net only to be ruled out for offside, and not long after Kane curled beyond Harry Tyrer from the edge of the box for his second goal of the season and a priceless derby win.
Victory puts Liverpool level on points with their city rivals, mid-table in Premier League 2, avenging their loss in the same fixture last season.
Liverpool U23s: Winterbottom; Gallacher, Clayton, Boyes, Norris; Chirivella, Kane, Dixon-Bonner; Elliott, Jones, Larouci (Longstaff 89′)
Subs not used: Atherton, Koumetio, Coyle, Christie-Davies
Next Match: Sunderland (A) – Premier League Cup – Sunday, November 10, 12pm (GMT)