A Layton Stweart double from the penalty spot was not enough for Liverpool’s under-18s as they suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Man City in a decisive league outing.
Man City U18s 4-2 Liverpool U18s
U18 Premier League, Academy Stadium
January 30, 2021
Goals: Sodje 15′, 77′, Hamilton 45′, Robertson 90+4′; Stewart 28′ (pen), 50′ (pen)
Liverpool’s under-18s have experienced a memorable season to date but they were forced to taste just their fourth defeat of the league season at Man City on Saturday.
It had been over a month since Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side last played having seen two fixtures postponed, where three changes were made from the side who beat Derby prior to Christmas.
With Marcelo Pitaluga and Billy Koumetio drafted back to the U23s and Harvey Blair also dropping out, Jakub Ojrzynski, Oakley Cannonier and Layton Stewart were the ones to come into the side.
The young Reds have struggled to keep a clean sheet of late and it was no different against City, who caught Liverpool out from a cross as Tai Sodje headed home the opener with a quarter of an hour on the clock.
But Liverpool had scores back on level terms merely 14 minutes later thanks to Stewart’s ruthless finish from the penalty spot after City’s Callum Doyle was adjudged to have impeded the Red.
The 1-1 scoreline lasted until the cusp of half-time as Liverpool were left to watch on as Micah Hamilton produced a moment of brilliance from 20 yards out to hand the hosts the lead.
HT: Man City U18s 2-1 Liverpool U18s
After the break, Bridge-Wilkinson’s chargers were on the comeback trail and started on all the right notes as they were awarded their second spot-kick of the afternoon minutes in.
Stewart stepped up to the plate once more and did not make a mistake to make it 2-2 with 40 minutes remaining, and impressively it was his 15th goal of the season to date.
Blows were traded at each end and the Reds’ goalscorer agonisingly missed out on edging his team into the lead and securing his hat-trick when his effort from inside five-yards rolled agonisingly wide.
The miss was duly punished as City added two more in the final exchanges to prevail as 4-2 victors in a pivotal game in regards to the standing at the top of the table.
The young Reds currently sit in second position after 13 games, six points behind leaders Man United. But City’s victory ensures they are tied on points with Liverpool but with two games in hand.
Now, it will be about bouncing back against Blackburn in two weeks’ time for the Reds.
Liverpool U18s: Ojrzynski; McLaughlin-Miles, Quansah, Wilson, Norris; Corness, Woltman, Mabaya; Musialowski (Frauendorf 83′), Stewart, Cannonier
Subs not used: Mrozek, McConnell
Next Match: Blackburn (H) – U18 Premier League – Saturday, February 13, 11am (GMT)