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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 19, 2023: Liverpool's Ben Doak during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-21's and Chelsea FC Under-21's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ben Doak makes return from injury as Liverpool U21s play out Chelsea draw

Liverpool under-21s were held to a 0-0 draw by Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, with Ben Doak completing 90 minutes on his return from injury.

Liverpool U21s 0-0 Chelsea U21s

Premier League 2, Kirkby Academy
February 19, 2023


There had been suggestions that the likes of Fabio Carvalho and Curtis Jones could feature in this game having barely played for the first team in recent weeks, but that wasn’t the case.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is another who has struggled for match action this month, was among those watching on at the academy.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 19, 2023: Liverpool senior player Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain (C) looks on during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-21's and Chelsea FC Under-21's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Rhys Williams was handed a start at centre-back, with Bobby Clark in midfield, while Mateusz Musialowski led the line once again.

Chelsea had their opportunities, but Liverpool centre-back Billy Koumetio went closest to breaking the deadlock in the first period, with his header clipping the bar.

Doak was Liverpool’s bright spark throughout and had a number of chances to put the Reds in front, with left-back Owen Beck also lively on the opposite flank.

HT: Liverpool U21s 0-0 Chelsea U21s

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 19, 2023: Liverpool's Ben Doak during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-21's and Chelsea FC Under-21's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool started the second half in the same manner in which they ended the first, with Doak testing Chelsea goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina once again.

The Reds’ defence was called into action soon after, with Lee Jonas and Rhys Williams denying the Blues an opener.

Barry Lewtas rang the changes midway through the half, with Max Woltman and Harvey Blair replacing Musialowski and Melkamu Frauendorf.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 19, 2023: Liverpool senior player Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain chast with Rhys Williams, Ben Doak and Bobby Clark after the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-21's and Chelsea FC Under-21's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The moment of the match almost came when Koumetio went close with a shot from inside his own half, having scored with a similar effort against PSG earlier in the year.

Luca Stephenson forced a good save from Slonina in stoppage time, but the Reds were unable to find a breakthrough, with Doak their standout performer. The result sees them move up to fifth in the Premier League 2 table.


Liverpool U21s: Davies; Jonas, Williams, Koumetio, Beck; Corness (c), Stephenson, Clark; Doak, Frauendorf (Blair 71′), Musialowski (Woltman 65′)

Subs not used: Hughes, Pilling

Next match: Leicester (H) – Premier League 2 – Saturday, February 25, 2pm (GMT)