LFC U21s 5 (Morgan 27’ (p), Brannagan 41’, McLaughlin 44’, 47’, Teixeira 70’) – 0 Tottenham Hotspur U21s
After their victory over Man City two weeks ago, Alex Inglethorpe’s Liverpool Under 21s were looking to make it 3 wins out of 3, but were against tough opposition in Spurs’, who beat the Reds at Anfield 3-1 last season. The North London club also finished runners up of the Under 21 Elite League after losing to Manchester United in the final. Because of this, Inglethorpe had to field a strong side and made 4 changes from the side that beat Man City 2-0 at the end of September, of which 3 were in defence. Firstly, Jon Flanagan replaces Stephen Sama at right back, while Andre Wisdom replaces the suspended Lloyd Jones to partner new signing Rafa Paez in defence, while Joe Maguire sits out in place of the returning Aly Cissokho, who has recovered from the injury he picked up in Liverpool’s League Cup tie against Notts County. The final change saw the injured Jack Dunn replaced by Brad Smith, as the full back makes his return from long term injury.
There were also some notable names on the substitutes bench as Samid Yesil returns from injury and Joao Teixeira returns from his loan move from Brentford, which later was confirmed that his deal was cancelled. Jon Flanagan captains the side as Alex Inglethorpe faces his former side for the 2nd time. The formation deployed by Inglethorpe is a bit of a strange one, as Brad Smith plays for the first time in his career at right wing and Ryan McLaughlin plays on the left wing .
The first chance fell to the Reds on the 10 minute mark as Jordan Rossiter perfectly placed a pass through to Adam Morgan but could not beat the ‘keeper as he was forced to concede a corner, which resulted in no success for the Reds. A minute later, the Reds continued their onslaught as Aly Cissokho sprinted down the wing and provided a first time cross, which fell to Brad Smith, but he could only fire over the crossbar. Liverpool’s next chance fell on the 17th minute but Adam Morgan’s shot was parried by Miles but couldn’t find either Craig Roddan or Cameron Brannagan who were waiting outside the penalty area.
Liverpool were awarded a penalty on the 25th minute as McLaughlin cut inside from the right and was taken down by the outstanding leg of Spurs’ defender Dominic Ball. Adam Morgan stepped up and with his weaker left foot, buried it past Spurs ‘keeper Jonathon Miles as the Reds took a much deserved lead in the match.
Tottenham did respond in the 32nd minute as Kenny McEvoy cut inside but from 12 yards out hit his shot straight at Danny Ward as Liverpool remained ahead. Just 2 minutes later however, McEvoy turned provider for Lancaster but he, like McEvoy could only hit it straight at Danny Ward.
On the 40th minute, Liverpool added a second to end any pressure asserted by Spurs. Aly Cissokho’s lofted through ball found Cameron Brannagan who easily slotted it past Miles as Liverpool doubled their lead.
It could have been 3 moments later as Rossiter’s through ball found McLaughlin but his effort was superbly saved by Miles as the score stayed 2-0. Two minutes later, McLaughlin got his goal at Smith’s cross from the outside of his boot found McLaughlin who buried it into the back of the net as the half ended 3-0 to Alex Inglethorpe’s men.
The Reds started the first half the same way as they ended as Brad Smith, who made his comeback after 10 months turned on the wing and hit a 25 yard effort that lofted over the helpless Jonathon Miles to give him a goal and an assist on his comeback.
The Reds could have made it 5 after McLaughlin picked out Morgan, who hit it first time, but could only hit the defender on the floor as Liverpool looked for a fifth.
In the 68th minute, Smith was replaced by Yesil who helped Smith get through his injury as Yesil was also out for 10 months with a cruciate knee ligament injury. The second substitution came moments later as 17 year old Cameron Brannagan was replaced by Joao Carlos Teixeira.
Teixiera made it 5 with his first touch on the 70th minute mark as he intercepted a stray past before calmly chipping it over Miles to make it a five star performance for the Reds.
But they did not stop there as Teixeira’s through ball found Yesil, but unfortunately for the Germany Under 21 striker, his effort could only hit the post and retrieved by Miles.
Miles again needed to make two very good saves to keep the score at 5-0. Firstly, Yesil unselfishly laid it off to McLaughlin, who’s effort was parried by Miles but could only find Teixeira, who found Morgan and yet again Miles made a good stop low to his left. Kris Peterson was brought on for McLaughlin during the closing stages as Liverpool cruised to a 5-0 win over a very good Spurs side.
Alex Inglethorpe did reveal that his Under 21s would play two games in the international break against PSV and Sevilla as the Reds will replace the NextGen series with friendlies. If you enjoyed this match report, please sure to share and like the blog. Also, for more Academy features and match reports, check out my personal blog by simply clicking here, and for more Liverpool Academy related news, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@scotttayloruk).
Until Next Time Reds…
LFC XI: Ward; Flanagan, Wisdom, Paez, Cissokho; Rossiter, Brannagan, Roddan; Smith, McLaughlin, Morgan.
Spurs XI: Miles; Fredericks, Ball, Stewart, Ward; Bentaleb, Lameiras, Veljkovic; McEvoy, Lancaster, D McQueen.