Oakley Cannonier scored a hat-trick to make it five goals in two games to start the season, as the Liverpool under-18s sealed a 5-0 victory over rivals Man United.
Man United U18s 0-5 Liverpool U18s
August 21, 2021
Goals: Cannonier 11′ 61′ 66′, Stephenson 32′, Miles 74′
After an injury-hit season that saw him make only eight appearances for the academy last time out, Cannonier has begun the new campaign as a first-choice starter in red-hot form.
A professional contract in July was followed by a productive pre-season and a brace in the 5-3 opening win over Stoke, with Marc Bridge-Wilkinson keeping him in the side for the trip to United despite the return of Mateusz Musialowski.
Musialowski, who started the under-23s’ opener against Man City, played a supporting role to Liverpool’s most famous ball boy, with Cannonier capping a five-goal thrashing of United with a hat-trick.
His first goal came in the 11th minute, finding space to tap in a cross from stand-in right-back Terence Miles, with Liverpool then required to hold firm as United began to attack.
It was Reds midfielder Luca Stephenson – set to step up as a key player in the academy this term – who got the next goal, though, with a volley from the edge of the box finding the back of the net through a crowd.
Liverpool continued to threaten after the bench, with Bridge-Wilkinson bringing on James McConnell for Harvey Blair – back in the starting lineup after a long spell out through injury – and Cannonier back on the scoresheet on the hour.
The 17-year-old completed his hat-trick as great pressing work saw Melkamu Frauendorf through to square it across to Cannonier who made no mistake, before Miles capped the victory.
Not only has Cannonier scored five in his first two games of the season, but the U18s have now made it 10 throughout the side, in an emphatic start to the campaign for Bridge-Wilkinson’s youngsters.
Subs not used: Roberts
Next match: Derby (H) – U18