Late hero emerges as 10-man Liverpool U21s seal victory at Arsenal

For the second game running, Layton Stewart came off the bench to score for the Liverpool under-21s – this time to clinch a 1-0 victory over Arsenal.

Arsenal U21s 0-1 Liverpool U21s

Premier League 2, Meadow Park
March 6, 2023

Goals: Stewart 85′

On the back of their own seven-goal triumph – a 7-1 win over Leicester at the end of February – the U21s took to Borehamwood for a clash with Arsenal.

Barry Lewtas was able to name a strong side which included, again, Marcelo Pitaluga, who is making his comeback from a long-term ankle injury before an expected return to loan club Macclesfield.

The likes of Ben Doak, Bobby Clark, Melkamu Frauendorf, Owen Beck and Billy Koumetio all started, though it was a low-key first half as the two sides cancelled each other out.

But the balance shifted in the second half as centre-back Lee Jonas received his second red card of the season, for a challenge just outside the penalty area.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Monday, March 6, 2023: Liverpool's Ben Doak during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Arsenal FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Meadow Park. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jonas was furious as he walked off the pitch, and Arsenal took control thereafter, with Liverpool needing Pitaluga to keep the hosts at bay.

Fortunately, Lewtas had an ace up his sleeve in the form of Stewart, who replaced Doak with 18 minutes to play and, after bright work from Beck down the left, struck to seal the three points late on.

“It was great to see Layton get the winner for us,” Lewtas told the club’s official website.

“We had planned to get him on the pitch a little bit earlier but the red card disrupted that.

“It was a fantastic goal, a lovely pass, great movement from Layton and he stuck it away.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Monday, March 6, 2023: Liverpool's match-winning goal-scorer Layton Stewart celebrates after the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Arsenal FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Meadow Park. Liverpool won 1-0 with 10 men. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We are trying to get him back up to full speed again after he picked up a knock before Christmas, but he is someone who knows where the goal is and he is a real threat for us.”

Stewart had added the gloss to the previous victory over Leicester with a goal in the 89th minute, with two consecutive wins lifting Liverpool up to third in the table.

Next up is a trip to second-placed Chelsea, with the young Reds currently seven points behind but with a game in hand.

Liverpool U21s: Pitaluga; Stephenson, Jonas, Koumetio, Beck; Corness, Frauendorf, Clark; Doak (Stewart 72′), Woltman (Miles 90+5′), Musialowski (Norris 60′)

Subs not used: Kelly

Next match: Chelsea (A) – Premier League 2 – Saturday, March 11, 12pm (GMT)