Liverpool under-23s settled for a share in the spoils against last season’s champions Man City in what was a solid first outing for Barry Lewtas‘ side.
Liverpool U23s 0-0 Man City U23s
Premier League 2, Kirkby
August 15, 2021
It was a valuable summer for Lewtas’ contingent with a plethora of his players involved with Jurgen Klopp‘s side throughout pre-season, some of whom were notably absent for the young Reds’ opener.
But it was not the case for Billy Koumetio, Tyler Morton and Mateusz Musialowski, who were all named in the XI – the latter of whom started for the first time at under-23 level.
Against last season’s champions, Liverpool enjoyed their fair share of the ball in what was a high tempo start to proceedings.
Both Dominic Corness and Elijah Dixon-Bonner tested Cieran Slicker in the City goal before the Reds saw their own defensive credentials tested.
The visitors were keen to pile on the pressure in the box and Liam Hughes had to be on his toes throughout as Liverpool were penned inside their own half.
Wayward finishing would be their downfall as too a timely intervention from captain Tom Clayton, who lined up alongside Koumetio at centre-back.
Musialowski would offer a spark late in the first half with a strong drive toward the penalty area but his final effort on goal would drift wide of the mark.
HT: Liverpool U23s 0-0 Man City U23s
After the break, City got off to a fast start and Luke Bolton continued to pose a threat to Liverpool as Hughes was made to work at Kirkby with some fine saves.
Musialowski would again impress with his ball-carrying ability to pose a question or two to the City defence but the breakthrough would not arrive.
As season openers go, it was one to build on for Lewtas as they added a point to the tally by shutting out City, the manager will hope it’s the first clean sheet of many after just five in 24 league games last season.
And the stakes only get higher as Everton await next week.
Liverpool: Hughes; Gallacher, Clayton, Koumetio, Norris; Corness, Morton, Dixon-Bonner (Stephenson 90′); Musialowski (Ritaccio 80′), Woltman, O’Rourke (Chambers 87′)
Unused subs: Kelly
Next match: Everton (A) – Premier League 2 – Monday, August 23, 7pm (BST)