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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Liverpool's Oakley Cannonier celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Youth League Group A Matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC Under-19's and AFC Ajax Under-19's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Oakley Cannonier fires hat-trick as Liverpool U19s outclass Ajax

With Sir Kenny Dalglish watching on at the academy, Liverpool under-19s sealed a 4-0 victory over Ajax to make it two from two in the UEFA Youth League.

Liverpool U19s 4-0 Ajax U19s

UEFA Youth League (2), AXA Training Centre
September 13, 2022

Goals: Cannonier 8′ 54′ 75′, Koumas 90+1′


Like their first-team counterparts, the young Reds had not been in action for almost a week when Ajax arrived at Kirkby, with academy fixtures also postponed over the weekend.

And despite injuries continuing to plague Jurgen Klopp‘s ranks, U19s coach Barry Lewtas was able to field a very strong side on Tuesday afternoon, including the returning Bobby Clark.

Oakley Cannonier was also among the starters, having been forced off through injury seconds after scoring in the 2-1 win over Napoli a week previous, and the 18-year-old was off the mark again in the eighth minute as he turned in Isaac Mabaya’s cross.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Liverpool's Oakley Cannonier celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Youth League Group A Matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC Under-19's and AFC Ajax Under-19's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There were few other chances as the half wore on, with Ajax battling forward with a strong rearguard, and it required a stunning fingertip save from Harvey Davies to keep out David Kalokoh.

Ajax’s best opportunity before the break fell to Nassef Chourak, but with the ball stood up for a free header, the 18-year-old diverted it high and wide of the goal.

HT: Liverpool U19s 1-0 Ajax U19s

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Liverpool's captain Dominic Corness (L) and Melkamu Frauendorf (R) challenge AFC Ajax's Rafael Sarfo during the UEFA Youth League Group A Matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC Under-19's and AFC Ajax Under-19's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was a slow start to the second half, but Liverpool kept the opposition penned in their half as the cultured Clark and the hardworking Melkamu Frauendorf set the tone in midfield.

The young Reds’ high-pressing play was a problem for Ajax throughout, and brilliant work from Trent Kone-Doherty and Ben Doak led shaky goalkeeper Tommy Setford to clear straight to Clark, who fed Cannonier to make it 2-0.

Another error from Setford almost handed Liverpool a third goal just seconds later, only for Luke Chambers to strike the outside of the post with a fine effort from all of 60 yards out.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Liverpool's Oakley Cannonier scores the first goal during the UEFA Youth League Group A Matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC Under-19's and AFC Ajax Under-19's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ajax began to grow frustrated, with their passes sloppy and challenges late, while Lewtas’ side kept their cool and pushed for another, with the introduction of Lewis Koumas giving a different option in attack.

Cannonier got his and Liverpool’s third with 15 minutes to play, with Dominic Corness’ stunning through ball for Koumas blocked into the striker’s path for an instinctive finish to secure the match ball.

That wasn’t to be it, though, with one more to come in stoppage time as Koumas fired in Frauendorf’s cutback to make it 4-0.


TIA Man of the Match: Oakley Cannonier

Liverpool U19s: Davies; Mabaya, Jonas, Chambers, Norris; Corness, Frauendorf, Clark; Doak (Koumas 75′), Kone-Doherty (McConnell 63′), Cannonier (Young 79′)

Subs not used: Hewitson, Miles, Osbourne, Gyimah

Next match: Man City (A) – U18 Premier League – Saturday, September 17, 11am (BST)

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