Liverpool under-19s were made to work for their 1-1 draw in the UEFA Youth League, with Melkamu Frauendorf’s late goal seeing the young Reds return from Porto with a point.
Porto U19s 1-1 Liverpool U19s
UEFA Youth League, Estadio Municipal Jorge Sampaio
September 28, 2021
Goals: Abreu 70’; Frauendorf 80′
Less than two weeks after European football returned for Liverpool’s academy players, the young Reds experienced the season’s first away trip to the continent in a sunny Porto on Tuesday afternoon.
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson named an unchanged XI from the one who notched a hard-fought 1-0 win over AC Milan, with Tyler Morton, Conor Bradley, Owen Beck, Kaide Gordon and the exciting Mateusz Musialowski all featuring.
The matchup pitted the early group leaders against one another, with Porto having secured a 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid earlier in the month.
A high tempo start saw neither team hold back the punches in the tackle or on the ball, with Owen Beck’s early defensive block then swiftly followed by Musialowski receiving the same treatment at the other end of the pitch.
Neither team was eager to offer the other an inch, but there were flashes of danger in both final thirds – one such occasion requiring Harvey Davies to be alert after Umaro Cande arrived at his near post.
And after absorbing Porto’s early pressure, the young Reds worked well to find pockets of space with Musialowski the first to test the goalkeeper after a handful of tame long-range strikes from his teammates.
The Pole showed lovely footwork to evade defenders on the edge of the area before finding space to drill a left-foot shot goal-bound, but Liverpool’s first and last clear cut chance of the half was straight at the ‘keeper.
HT: Porto U19s 0-0 Liverpool U19s
Kaide Gordon would not emerge for the second half with Melkamu Frauendorf introduced in his place, with Liverpool quickly tasked with showing their defensive credentials.
They held firm to keep the hosts at bay before looking to propel forwards themselves, with Musialowski the creative spark with the ball and with his movement in Porto’s half.
But it was the combination and show of strength from Max Woltman and Beck who combined on the left to find Frauendorf free in the box, but the substitute took too long to strike and the chance was gone as quick as it came.
But after sustained pressure, Porto would make their time in possession count to take the lead with 20 minutes left thanks to a long-range strike from Diogo Abreu flying beyond Davies at his near post.
Tired legs would see James Norris and the U18s’ prolific Oakley Cannonier arrive on the scene and the response on the scoreboard arrived soon after for Liverpool.
After expertly navigating the League Cup tie at Norwich, Morton showed off his passing range with a direct ball over the top that was brilliantly converted by Frauendorf – who made no mistake this time.
The result sees Liverpool’s point tally move to four, level with Porto.
TIA Man of the Match: Mateusz Musialowski
Liverpool U19s: Davies; Bradley, Koumetio, Chambers, Beck; Stephenson, Morton; Gordon (Frauendorf 46’), Musialowski (Corness 91′), Balagizi (Norris 78’); Woltman (Cannonier 78’)
Subs not used: Mrozek, Bajcetic, Clark