LFC 2 (Teixeira 10’, Brannagan 38’) -4 (Vydra 14’, Thorne 19’, Roofe 24’, 85’ (p)) West Brom U21s
A brace from Kemar Roofe and goals from Matej Vydra and George Thorne secured an unlikely 4-2 win for West Brom against Liverpool at the Hawthorns, especially after Liverpool dominated most of the game. However, unlike Liverpool, West Brom took their chances and were clinical in front of goal, and as a result bagged the 3 points.
After their 5-0 victory over Spurs two weeks ago, Alex Inglethorpe’s Liverpool Under 21s were back in action against West Brom at the Hawthorns, the scene where Marc Pelosi suffered that horrible injury last season. The Liverpool manager made 5 changes from the 5-0 triumph. Firstly, Ryan McLaughlin and Brad Smith go back to their natural positions at right back and left back respectively and as a result, Jon Flanagan misses out as Ibe comes in on the left wing and Aly Cissokho is now playing with the first team. The 3rd change sees the returning Lloyd Jones, who replaces Andre Wisdom, who is today being linked with a loan move to Championship side Derby County. Jordan Rossiter misses out because he is with England Under 17s and the returning Michael Ngoo replaces Jon Flanagan in the final change. It will be a tough game for the Under 21s as West Brom have produced very good players such as Liverpool’s very own Jerome Sinclair and Yan Dhanda, and to make it harder, the Baggies included Graham Dorrans, Matej Vydra and Zoltan Gera in their starting XI. Because of this, no one should pay attention to the table, as Liverpool lie 4th, 3 points off the top whereas West Brom lie 16th.
The game opened up full of chances and West Brom could have taken the lead in the first 5 minutes as a mistake from Craig Roddan meant that Matej Vydra was through on goal, but his shot was comfortably saved by Danny Ward.
However, it was Liverpool who took the lead as Michael Ngoo found Joao Teixeira and his long range effort was parried in by West Brom ‘keeper Luke Daniels, who should’ve done better with his save. Immediately after, West Brom responded, testing Liverpool’s defence and Danny Ward. Their pressure eventually paid off as a long ball over the top found Matej Vydra, who took it past the confused Danny Ward and slot home into an empty net to level the scores. Vydra showing his form from last season at Watford there, where he netted 20 times in 41 appearances. Moments later, Vydra was through on goal but his effort could only hit the post after beating Ward.
The turn around was complete after 19 minutes as Adam Morgan gave the ball away on the edge of the box on the right hand side to George Thorne and the West Brom captain’s 20 yard drive was too powerful for Danny Ward, as an exciting first 20 minutes of the game sees 3 goals.
The goals didn’t end there and on 24 minutes West Brom made it 3-1 after Craig Roddan gave the ball away to Matej Vydra, and his shot deflected harshly off Rafa Paez and fell to Kemar Roofe, who had no trouble slotting it past Ward in the top right hand corner.
Liverpool did pull one back after dominating possession on the 38th minute as Cameron Brannagan flicked a header from an Adam Morgan free-kick goal bound and a deflection from a West Brom defender saw it creep it, but the goal was awarded to Brannagan, for his 3rd goal in 3 games, as an action packed first half comes to an end.
West Brom almost made it 4 as Lloyd Jones gave the ball away to his namesake Alex Jones, whose shot whisked the outside of Dan Ward’s post. Moments later, Michael Ngoo almost equalised for Liverpool as his header from the corner forced a good save from Luke Daniels in the West Brom goal in the 52nd minute. 2 minutes later, Morgan almost equalised with a curling free-kick but forced a good save off of Luke Daniels as Alex Inglethorpe’s side crept closer to their 3rd goal of the match.
However, despite all this pressure from the Reds, West Brom almost made it 4 in bizarre circumstances as a heavy cross was left by Danny Ward but it hit the back of Lloyd Jones on the back post, and after a goal mouth scramble, Rafa Paez eventually cleared it as it stayed 3-2 to West Brom as the game past the hour mark.
On the 65th minute, good play from Ibe resulted in his cross to an unmarked Cameron Brannagan whose shot look destined to go in, if it wasn’t for a fantastic save from Luke Daniels. Liverpool kept pushing for that equaliser with chances from Michael Ngoo, Adam Morgan and Joao Teixeira, but none of them could make any significant impact as the game entered the final 15 minutes. Because of this, Alex Inglethorpe brought on Samed Yesil in place of Michael Ngoo to try and add that killer strike that would secure a point for the Reds. On the 75th minute, Ryan McLaughlin produced a bit a magic on the right hand side and his expertly weighted chip found Cameron Brannagan, whose header went just wide of Daniels’ goal.
West Brom kept threatening to get that 4th goal and following yet another mistake from the Liverpool defence, the ball fell to Graham Dorrans, whose low shot was tipped round Ward’s left hand post for a corner. Then, on the 85th minute, Liverpool conceded a penalty when Rafa Paez fouled Matej Vydra in the box. Kemar Roofe stepped up and sent Dan Ward the wrong way as West Brom scored a surprising 4th goal completely against the run of play as Liverpool have dominated the second half.
This 4-2 victory will be a disappointing result for the Reds considering they have dominated the game for the majority of the game and this is their first defeat since the opening day defeat to Southampton at Kirkby. They will be looking to pick themselves up for the next game, which is against Middlesborough where they will be looking to rise up the table and get back onto winning ways.
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Until next time Reds…
LFC XI: Ward; McLaughlin, Smith, Jones, Paez, Roddan, Morgan, Teixeira, Ngoo, Brannagan, Ibe.
WBA XI: Daniels; Gayle, Garmston, Dorrans, Daniels, Atkinson, Roofe, Thorne, Vydra, Gera, Ferrier.