Liverpool Under 21s 1 (Dunn 94′) – 2 (Plumaine 33’, Christensen 75′) Fulham Under 21s
After last week’s 5-2 win over Newcastle at Anfield, Alex Inglethorpe’s Liverpool Under 21s were back in action against Fulham at Craven Cottage, in a game that saw top of the table Liverpool face 2nd placed Fulham, with much more than just bragging rights up for grabs. The Reds made 4 changes from the Newcastle side. Firstly, there is an unfamiliar face in the Liverpool goal as Lawrence Vigouroux comes into the side. The 20 year old shot stopper is from Spurs and is on trial at the club, so today will show how he performs at the highest level in Under 21 Premier League football. Defenders Connor Randall and Joe Maguire drop out as Jordan Williams makes the step up for the Under 18s and Brad Smith drops back to his natural left back position. There is also a debut for Sheyi Ojo who fills in where Smith played at Anfield and Joao Carlos Teixeira returns in place of Ryan Kent, who drops to the bench. Fulham is a happy hunting ground for Joao Carlos Teixeira who made his debut for the first team when they beat Fulham 3-2 earlier in the season, and the Portuguese man will be hoping for a repeat result.
Liverpool started well and created the first chance within 3 minutes when Kris Peterson turned from 20 yards and unleashed a dipping shot which was well matched by Fulham goalkeeper Max Oberschmidt, who has been dubbed the next Oliver Khan by natives back in Germany. The shot stopper was back in action 5 minutes later when Joao Teixeira forced him into a strong stop. Oberschmidt was on loan at SPL Champions Celtic, so will be hard to beat and currently proved that with Liverpool’s first two chances of the game. Fulham’s first chance came in the 20th minute when former Lens player Ange-Freddy Plumain sliced his effort wide of Vigouroux’s goal.
The Liverpool trialist was back in action in the 28th minute when Lyle Della Verde forced Vigouroux to tip it over the crossbar as Fulham started to assert the pressure and should’ve taken the lead when Mesca chipped it over Sheyi Ojo before blazing over from 6 yards out.
Fulham inevitably took the lead through Plumain in the 33rd minute. After a foul from Cameron Brannagan, Dutch youth international Chris David found the French forward Plumain and his effort was too powerful for Vigouroux, who could’ve done better to keep it out.
Plumain was again involved in another event in the match but was this time booked for a foul on debutant Ojo. Liverpool had a great chance to equalise when Teixeira’s flick found Kris Peterson, but the Swedish winger couldn’t find the target as an action packed first half ended with Fulham having the advantage.
Before the second half began, Liverpool made their first change of the game when Joe Maguire replaced Joao Carlos Teixeira. This meant that Maguire would go straight into left back allowing Brad Smith to move to the left wing. Fulham started the second half in the same way they ended the first, as Lasse Christensen forced Vigouroux into a sharp stop to deny Fulham doubling the lead.
Liverpool then made their second change as another attacking midfielder was replaced by a defender when Sheyi Ojo was replaced by Connor Randall. This meant that the Reds were forced to play a diamond formation with Jordan Williams at the bottom of the diamond and Cameron Brannagan at the top. From that moment, the Reds looked like a new side when Lloyd Jones close range header forced Oberschmidt into a good save as Alex Inglethorpe’s side started to apply pressure as they game grew on.
However, after Inglethorpe brought on Ryan Kent in place of substitute Joe Maguire, Fulham countered and made it 2-0 after Christensen placed it past Vigouroux, who could only watch it curl into the back of the net as the Dane looked to have sealed all 3 points for this very strong Fulham side. Liverpool did have two golden chance to get back into the game. Firstly, Jack Dunn went down in the box and was denied a clear penalty before the same player charged down a clearance that went inches wide. Liverpool were awarded a penalty in the 94th minute of the match after Jordan Rossiter was fouled. Jack Dunn changed his fortunes with the goal, but it wasn’t Liverpool’s day as they suffered their second defeat of 2014 and go 2nd in the Under 21 league and the victors Fulham go top.
LFC XI: Vigouroux, Williams, Smith, Paez, Jones, Rossiter, Brannagan, Dunn, Ojo, Peterson, Teixeira.
Fulham XI: Oberschmidt, Passley, Buatu, Pritchard, Banya, Mesca, Christensen, Boateng, Plumain, Della Verde, David.
Thanks for reading this match report and as always do not be shy to leave your views about the game or the squad in the comments section below. Finally, for more day-to-day updates on the Liverpool Academy be sure to keep an eye out on the blog and follow me on Twitter (@ScottTaylorUK), I’m nearing 1.5k followers and it would be really appreciated if you can give me a follow.