Striker makes long-awaited return as Kaide Gordon hits new post-injury milestone

Liverpool came from two goals behind to salvage a point against Leeds, in what was a milestone outing for two young talents in the 2-2 draw.

Leeds U21s 2-2 Liverpool U21s

Premier League 2 (7), LNER Community Stadium
October 29, 2023

Goals: McGurk 3′, Joseph 25′; Chilokoa-Mullen OG 45+1′, Musialowski 67′

Injuries can be cruel for young players, and Liverpool have had to be patient with a number of their impressive talents as they give them the best chance to build strong foundations.

Kaide Gordon is a player who has only just come out of a 19-month injury nightmare having initially been sidelined in February 2022, due to growing pains in his pelvis.

Now 19, the young winger is slowly being reintroduced back into the under-21s side and against Leeds, he was on the pitch when the young Reds levelled the scores after being introduced in the final 30 minutes.

Barry Lewtas‘ side were two-nil down inside the first 25 minutes as Sean McGurk and Mateo Joseph took turns to assist the other as Leeds raced into the lead.

Marcelo Pitaluga‘s handball outside the penalty box led to the second goal, but he was key in denying a third and thus keeping Liverpool in the match as they pegged one back before half time.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 14, 2023: Liverpool's Mateusz Musialowski looks on during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-21's and Everton FC Under-21's, the Mini-Merseyside Derby, at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

It was Trent Kone-Doherty’s cross that was deflected into the net by Jeremiah Chilokoa-Mullen and after waves of pressure in the second half, Mateusz Musialowski scored the equaliser.

The young Pole’s goal from outside the box was his fifth goal of the season, and his seventh goal contribution.

Gordon was now the pitch, in place of Kone-Doherty, for the second consecutive U21s match – his first back-to-back competitive outing since January 2022.

It is a major milestone for the teenager after a long road back to fitness, and the feeling will have been similar for Oakley Cannonier, even if he was only introduced in the 92nd minute.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 6th, 2022: Liverpool's substitute Kaide Gordon warms-up during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The forward has had an injury ravaged year and after starting the season with three consecutive league appearances, his late cameo brought an end to more than two months on the sidelines. Two feel-good stories.

Liverpool’s draw was also achieved with two 16-year-old centre-backs, who will only grow in stature and confidence as the campaign progresses.

Liverpool U21s: Pitaluga; Miles, Pinnington, Nallo, Davidson; Hill, Pilling; Kone-Doherty (Gordon 60′), Koumas, Glatzel; Musialowski (Cannonier 90+2′)

Subs not used: O. Kelly, K. Kelly

Next match: West Ham (H) – Premier League 2, Saturday, Nov 4, 2pm GMT