With two 16-year-olds in the starting lineup and another coming off the bench, Liverpool U21s suffered a narrow 2-1 loss to Monaco on Wednesday.
Liverpool U21s 1-2 Monaco II
PL International Cup, AXA Training Centre
September 27, 2023
Goals: Danns 82′; Michal 45′, Baglieri 50′
The young Reds have entered the Premier League International Cup again this season, with fixtures against Monaco, Benfica, Feyenoord and Athletic Club in their group.
Among those to start was summer signing Amara Nallo, who was joined by another 16-year-old in defence in first-year scholar Lucas Pitt.
Unfortunately, it proved a frustrating night for Liverpool as Lucas Michal opened the scoring for Monaco on the cusp of half-time and Enzo Baglieri made it 2-0 soon after the restart.
Jaros had already been called upon to make a number of vital saves on his first competitive appearance for the Reds since January 2021.
Both Musialowski and Koumas had gone close to reducing the deficit, but it was left to substitute Jayden Danns to make it 2-1 with eight minutes of normal time to play.
After a flurry of chances which saw Danns’ effort blocked and Clark’s follow-up rebound off the bar, the striker was there for the tap-in, in what was his eighth goal in seven games so far this season.
Liverpool fought hard to level the scores, including another goal from Danns ruled out for offside, while Lewtas sent on a second new signing, 16-year-old midfielder Trey Nyoni.
But it wasn’t to be for the young Reds, who saw Pitt sent off for a second yellow in stoppage time for a foul which handed Monaco a penalty.
There would be no third goal for the visitors, however, with Jaros adding the flourish to an excellent individual display by saving Jules Bery’s spot-kick.
While they kicked off Group C with defeat, there were still positives for Liverpool, not least first outings at U21s level for both Nallo and the in-form Nyoni.
Liverpool U21s: Jaros; Pitt, Miles, Nallo, Davidson; McConnell, Pilling (Nyoni 89′), Clark; Kone-Doherty (Danns 62′), Koumas (Glatzel 76′), Musialowski
Subs not used: Kelly, Pinnington, Spearing, Hill
Next match: Crystal Palace (A) – PL2 – Sunday, October 1, 2pm (BST)