Neil Critchley gave a major hint at his starting lineup for the FA Cup clash with Shrewsbury as Harvey Elliott inspired a decisive 2-2 draw at Wolves.
Wolves U23s 2-2 Liverpool U23s
Premier League International Cup, Molineux
January 29, 2020
Goals: Jordao 13′, Dadashov 47′; Hardy 52′, Elliott 54′
Just under a week before the visit of Shrewsbury in the FA Cup, Critchley fielded close to his expected lineup for the replay at Anfield, with Curtis Jones the only absentee.
Caoimhin Kelleher operated behind a back four of Neco Williams, Ki-Jana Hoever, Sepp van den Berg and Yasser Larouci, with Pedro Chirivella, Leighton Clarkson and Jake Cain in midfield, and Elliott, Liam Millar and Joe Hardy in attack.
Jones is likely to take Cain’s place next Tuesday, and Larouci could now be considered a doubt as he was forced off with an injury just 24 minutes into the tie, handing a big opportunity to the returning Adam Lewis.
Liverpool were already 1-0 down when the Algerian departed the field, with Bruno Jordao opening the scoring for Wolves with a volley from the edge of the area.
Elliott, Hardy and Millar all tested Andreas Sondergaard as the first half wore on, but the hosts remained in front heading into the break.
HT: Wolves U23s 1-0 Liverpool U23s
The young Reds took another blow soon after the interval with Renet Dadashov firing beyond Kelleher after a brilliant run from Morgan Gibbs-White, but this sparked Critchley’s side into life.
They equalised with two goals in three minutes: the first a routine finish for the predatory Hardy; the second a truly stunning strike from Elliott.
Cain whipped a corner in from the left and, having evaded the first man, it fell to Elliott who produced a masterful bicycle kick at the near post to level the scores to the disbelief of his team-mates.
A STUNNING Harvey Elliott acrobatic strike ?
? Our U23s will now face @VfLWolfsburg_EN in the PL International Cup quarter-final, after yesterday's dramatic fightback: https://t.co/XUEpi9PyHm pic.twitter.com/PScphFkSpB
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 30, 2020
With Liverpool needing just a point to clinch progress to the quarter-finals of the Premier League International Cup, they were able to hold on to top Group E.
They advance along with Paris Saint-Germain, despite Athletic Club also finishing level on points and goal difference; the two European giants make it through by virtue of goals scored.
TIA Man of the Match: Harvey Elliott
Liverpool U23s: Kelleher; Williams, Hoever, Van den Berg, Larouci (Lewis 22′); Chirivella, Clarkson, Cain; Elliott, Millar, Hardy
Subs not used: Winterbottom, Boyes, Gallacher, Dixon-Bonner, Varesanovic, Bearne
Next Match: Arsenal (H) – Premier League 2 – Saturday, Feb 1, 1pm (GMT)