LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 8, 2020: Liverpool's Joe Hardy during the Premier League International Cup match between Liverpool FC and Athletic Club Bilbao at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

New signing Joe Hardy nets first goals for LFC in five-star showing for U23s

A strong Liverpool under-23s side enjoyed an impressive win over Southampton on Monday night, with Harvey Elliott and new signing Joe Hardy among the goals.

Liverpool U23s 5-0 Southampton U23s

Premier League 2, Kirkby
January 13, 2020

Goals: Elliott 3′, Hardy 15′, 43′, Jones 87′, Millar 88′

The Reds’ side featured eight players who have appeared for the first team this season, with Neco Williams and Yasser Larouci at full-back and Sepp van den Berg and Morgan Boyes at centre-back.

In midfield, Pedro Chirivella and Curtis Jones were joined by Jake Cain, while Elliott and Hardy were in attack alongside Leighton Clarkson.

It was Elliott who got Neil Critchley‘s side off to a flying start, opening the scoring by slotting home from Chrivella’s ball over the top.

The home side were dominant and Hardy, signed from Brentford earlier this month, got his first goal in a Liverpool shirt after good link-up play between Elliott and Jones.

Liverpool were completely controlling the game and Jones hit the bar with a good strike, then Larouci rifled over from distance.

And the dominance was underlined before half-time with Hardy’s second goal, another tidy finish from Jones’ assist.

The second half saw fewer goals until the closing stages when a quick-fire double made the scoreline 5-0.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2020: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 235th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool added a fourth when Jones scored with a lovely finish from the edge of the box for his 15th goal of the season in all competitions.

At right-back, Williams put in another impressive showing and he assisted returning loanee Liam Millar for the fifth goal.

Interestingly, Ki-Jana Hoever was among the subs, with Williams now firmly ahead of the young Dutchman at right-back.

It was a supremely comfortable performance from the Reds’ youngsters, arguably their best of the season so far.

TIA Man of the Match: Curtis Jones

Liverpool U23s: Winterbottom; Williams, Boyes, Van den Berg, Larouci; Chirivella, Clarkson, Cain; Elliott, Jones, Hardy (Millar 64′)

Subs not used: Atherton, Hoever, Gallacher, Dixon-Bonner

Next Match: Wigan (A) – Premier League Cup – Friday, Jan 17, 7pm (GMT)