Liverpool saw a former player came back to score against them on Wednesday, with the U21s losing their final game of the PL International Cup to Athletic Club.
Liverpool U21s 1-3 Athletic Club U21s
PL International Cup (4), AXA Training Centre
January 10, 2024
Goals: Koumas 27′; Gift 45+1′, Asensio 56′, Hierro 90+4′
There was a reunion at the AXA Training Centre on Wednesday night as winger Elijah Gift, who departed the club in a £1 million transfer in May, returned with his new side.
Athletic Club were the final opponents for the young Reds in this season’s Premier League International Cup, with the group stage having already taken in clashes with Monaco, Benfica and Feyenoord.
Unfortunately for Barry Lewtas‘ youngsters, who were without a number of key players due to call-ups to the first team, it ended in a frustrating loss.
That took a blow in the eighth minute, however, with captain Tom Hill rolling his ankle and forced off to be replaced by Paul Glatzel.
Liverpool soon took the lead through Lewis Koumas, with the 18-year-old following up Glatzel’s effort to convert on the rebound for his sixth goal of the season.
But parity was restored before the break, with Gift scoring against his old club, again at the second time of asking following a Fabian Mrozek save, opting against a celebration out of respect.
Substitute Kieran Morrison posed a constant threat to the Athletic Club defence, while both Glatzel and Calum Scanlon had opportunities to score, but the visitors soon took control.
Further goals from Ibai Asensio and Asier Hierro earned a 3-1 victory for the Spanish side, though neither they nor Liverpool will advance to the quarter-finals.
Liverpool U21s: Mrozek; Miles, Pinnington, Nallo, Scanlon; Davidson, Pilling (K.Kelly 85′), Hill (Glatzel 8′); Kone-Doherty (Figueroa 85′), Koumas, Cannonier (Morrison 45′)
Subs not used: O.Kelly, Spearing