Liverpool Under 21s 1 (Dunn 25’) – 0 Chelsea Under 21s
Liverpool consolidated their place at the top of the Barclays Under 21 Premier League when Jack Dunn’s crucial goal in the 25th minute gave the Reds all 3 points. The game will be most remembered for Marc Pelosi making his comeback after 14 months out injured with a broken leg. The win also means that Liverpool have secured their place in the play-offs for this season.
After last Friday’s emphatic 4-1 win over Norwich City at Anfield, Liverpool Under 21s were back on their travels when they played an in form Chelsea side who have been on a 12 match unbeaten run in the league, so Aldershot is no easy to place to go to after such a record.
Alex Inglethorpe made just the one change for the match with Cameron Brannagan being rested and Jordan Lussey coming into the midfield. The Under 21s manager formerly at Spurs was also boosted by the fact that Marc Pelosi returned to the squad after being out since 17th February 2013 where he broke his leg in a match against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
The Reds started very brightly and almost scored within the first 10 seconds of the goal but Chelsea goalkeeper Blackman gathered a low cross from Kris Peterson with Jack Dunn waiting. However, it was the Liverpool shot stopper Ryan Fulton who was tested first after Charlie Musonda’s shot was tipped around the post by the Scotsman.
Joao Carlos Teixeira was playing in the number 10 role today in Brannagan’s absence and the Portuguese playmaker went close with an effort that flashed the side netting. The Reds did find the other side of the net in the 25th minute through free-scoring Jack Dunn. The move started when Kris Peterson chased down what looked like a lost cause before finding Connor Randall. The right back then played through Dunn with a superbly weighted pass and the forward had no problems scoring his 7th goal in 6 games. The Reds went close again just after the half hour mark when a scramble in the penalty area fell to Jordan Lussey and the midfielder curled his effort straight into the hands of Blackman as all the chances were created by the men in red.
Jordan Williams did pick up a late yellow card in stoppage time for a foul on Musonda, but it was Alex Inglethorpe’s side who were clear leaders going into half time which has been fairly one sided as Fulton has been barely tested.
Inglethorpe’s men made no changes to their team or their playing style as Kris Peterson continued Liverpool’s tempo early on in the second half with a fizzing effort that was always going wide. In the 50th minue, it was Peterson who turned provider when his chip fell to Jordan Lussey, but the Chelsea defence did well to block the midfielder’s shot.
Liverpool went even closer moments later when Joao Carlos Teixeira’s curling free-kick smashed into the far post before being cleared to safety as Liverpool started to look for a 2nd goal to give to make the game more comfortable for them. Things didn’t improve for Chelsea when Isaac Sswankambo was lucky to stay on the pitch when he was the last man after he brought down Peterson.
The Blues did create their first chance of the half when substitute Alex Kiwomya’s first touch flashed across Ryan Fulton’s goal but like Peterson’s effort earlier in the second half, it didn’t trouble the goalkeeper. After 63 minutes, Liverpool made their first change of the match when Cameron Brannagan replaced Jordan Lussey. The 17 year old was immediately involved with his first touch as he set up Jack Dunn, but unfortunately the young scouser couldn’t convert his chance.
The game started to turn sour when many Chelsea players started to commit fouls, especially on Liverpool winger Peterson as the game entered its last 20 minutes.
A memorable moment occurred in the 77th minute when Marc Pelosi made his first appearance in 14 months replacing goalscorer Jack Dunn.
The American then had the chance to make it a dream return when he was through on goal, but understandably he was lacking confidence and pace in front goal, and the Chelsea defence was able to get back and clear it for a corner.
LFC XI: Fulton; Randall, Paez, Jones, Smith; Williams, Rossiter; Peterson, Teixeira, Lussey; Dunn.
Chelsea XI: Blackman; Ssewankambo, Davey, Christensen, Nditi; Musonda, Baker; Swift, Mitchell, Musonda; Feruz.
Alex Inglthorpe’s Liverpool Under 21s play their final game of the 2013/14 season when they travel to Southport’s Haig Avenue when they play in the mini-derby against rivals Everton on Monday 14th April.
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.