LFC Under 21s 4 (Roddan 4’, Teixeira 21’, 49’, Rossiter 25’) – 3 (Butterfield 46’, Ledesma 50’, Hines 66’) Middlesbrough Under 21s

Preview

After their 4-2 defeat against West Brom last time out, Alex Inglethorpe’s Liverpool Under 21s were back in action against Middlesbrough U21s, hoping to get back to winning ways after their setback, Currently, Liverpool lie 6th in the table but a win could see the Reds rise to 3rd in the league. Alex Inglethorpe made 3 changes from the side that lost at the Hawthorns. Firstly, the experienced Martin Kelly comes in for Ryan McLaughlin, who drops to the bench. Also, new signing Rafa Paez is dropped in place of another summer signing in Tiago Ilori. Jordan Rossiter returns from England Under 17 duty to replace Adam Morgan in the final change.

First Half

Liverpool started brightly as they always do in Under 21 games and made the breakthrough after 4 minutes after a long range strike from Craig Roddan gave the Reds a lead and gave Roddan a rare goal.

On the 20th minute mark, Liverpool doubled their lead as Jordon Ibe skipped past the Middlesbrough full back Meling, looked up and pulled it back to an unmarked Joao Carlos Teixeira, who slotted it into an empty net to score his 4th goal of the season. Four minutes later, the rampage didn’t stop there, as Michael Ngoo’s through ball found Brad Smith and his first time cross fell to Jordon Ibe at the back post, and his lay off found Jordan Rossiter unmarked in the middle to slot it in to the empty net, and like Roddan, gave Rossiter his first goal of the season. It also meant that Jordon Ibe was involved in all 3 goals thus far in the match, and showing his full potential.

It was Ibe who then went close shortly after but he couldn’t keep his shot down after a very good skilful move from the 17 year old winger. The England Under 19 star almost made it 3 on the half hour mark when his shot fizzed wide after some excellent build up play from the Reds. Ibe again went close 10 minutes before half-time, but his shot again went over.

Middlesbrough almost got a goal back 2 minutes before half time as Jacob Butterfield picked the ball up on the edge of the box and fired at goal, but his effort went narrowly wide of Danny Ward’s goal.

Jayson Leutwiler then had a comedy moment for Middlesbrough as Danny Ward’s clearance was flicked on by Hines and handled outside the area by the ‘Boro ‘keeper, and as a result the Swiss youth international was given a yellow card which left him red faced as the half ended Liverpool 3 – 0 Middlesbrough, and the Reds will be looking to built on their 3 goals and put this game to bed.

Second Half

Middlesbrough started the half very well and made it 3-1 after just 15 seconds as Jacob Butterfield picks the ball up on the edge of the box, turns Cameron Brannagan and hits a fierce drive that was always going away from the helpless Danny Ward, who could only get a fingertip on it. It took just 3 minutes for the Merseyside club to reply as Jordon Ibe picked the ball up on the edge of his own half and ran at the defence. His lofted through ball found Teixeira, who set the ball up perfectly with his left foot, hopped over the sliding defender as hit a shot that was unstoppable in the corner of the net.

The game was end-to-end, and before the 50 minute mark, it was 4-2 to Liverpool as the Argentine Ledesma scored yet another cracking goal in the game. A long clearance found the former Genoa and QPR forward, who hit an swerving drive into the top corner to beat Ward, as the opening 5 minutes of the half produced 3 goals. After a hectic few minutes, Michael Ngoo looked to have scored a fifth, but he again was caught just offside. That offside was his 3rd of the game, so if Ngoo did time his runs, the scoreline could have been much much better for the Reds, instead of a 2 goal margin.

Middlesbrough then made it 4-3 on the 65th minute as Seb Hines, who is on the verge of a first team call-up, beat Lloyd Jones to head it past Ward to make it an interesting final 20 minutes for both sides. Just two minutes after Middlesbrough’s third goal, Jordon Ibe almost added a goal to his already 4 assists as Michael Ngoo finds the winger who shifts it onto his right foot and smashes an effort against the post as the score somehow remained 4-3 to Alex Inglethorpe’s side. Because when both teams went forward they look likely to score, Inglethorpe brought off Michael Ngoo and replaced him with the returning Jack Dunn , who has missed the past 3 games with an injury suffered in the Under 21s 2-0 win over Manchester City last month. It will be a good time for Dunn to regain his fitness and have a chance of getting on the score sheet. Also, Ngoo was making a lot of runs, of which the majority were offside so a change was needed.

Middlesbrough came close to equalising with 10 minutes left but Park’s shot was straight at Danny Ward. Moments later, Joao Teixeira was booked and replaced for Ryan McLaughlin who came on to play on the left wing, a position he flourished in in the 5-0 victory against Spurs last month.

Jordan Rossiter almost made it 5 after 85 minutes as Ryan McLaughlin skilfully skips past players to get to the byline and the cut back finds an unmarked Rossiter, who could only fire over from 10 yards out.

The Championship side almost levelled on the 89th minute as Danny Ward misjudged a cross and the ball fell to Middlesbrough forward Main whose effort was cleared off the line by Lloyd Jones as Alex Inglethorpe’s side hung on to win 4-3 and move to 3rd in the league. Liverpool did have the chance to make it 5-3 when Ibe skipped past the ‘keeper, but like Main, his effort was cleared off the line by the Middlesbrough defence and that brought an end to what was a very eventful game in Hartlepool.

Team Line-Ups:

LFC XI: Ward, Kelly, Smith, Jones, Ilori, Roddan, Ibe, Rossiter, Ngoo, Brannagan, Teixeira.

Middlesbrough XI: Leutwiler; Bennett, Hines, Jackson, Meling; Morris, Park, Butterfield, Main; Ledesma, Williams.

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Until next time Reds…

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