Liverpool Under 18s                                       5-0                                Blackburn Under 18s

Marsh 10’, 35’, 44’ Canos 83’, 90’

By Scott Taylor

Will Marsh’s first half hat-trick ensured that Liverpool Under 18s convincingly beat their opponents Blackburn Rovers at the Kirkby Academy. A brace from Spaniard Sergi Canos completed the rout for the rests, who pick up their first win in three games.

Marsh scored his seventh, eighth and ninth goals of the season with a traditional centre-forwards performance. He opened his account in the 10th minute of the game as his 35-yard lob flew over Blackburn ‘keeper Andrew Fisher who was in no man’s land and could do nothing about.

His and Liverpool’s second came with a bit of luck. After receiving the ball from midfielder Herbie Kane, Marsh cut inside and past the Rovers left-back and his effort took a wicked deflection that Fisher could do nothing about.

Kane was again at the heart of the move which saw Marsh grab his hat-trick as his ball across goal found an unmarked Marsh, who had no issue slotting it into an empty net as the Reds went 3-0 up at half time.

Neil Critchley made two changes at half-time, bringing off Tom Brewitt and Ovie Ejaria and replacing them with Sergi Canos and Sam Hart. This meant that there were a few positional changes. Corey Whelan returned to centre-back after starting at left-back where Brewitt was, and Hart filled in on the left side of defence. Canos’ introduction meant that hat-trick hero Marsh dropped back to more familiar surroundings in centre midfield, where the departed Ejaria had played. Their final change was a like-for-like change as Yan Dhanda was replaced by Jack Watts.

Liverpool had to wait to the 83rd minute to further extend their lead, as second half substitutes Canos and Hart combined, with the former excellently curled his effort past forward to all but secure the three points for Liverpool. Canos scored his second and Liverpool’s fifth of the game in stoppage time. The former Barcelona man won the ball of the Blackburn defence and produced a confident chip over Fisher as Liverpool recovered from their recent defeats with Wolves and Manchester City.

The Championship side did have a few chances of their own, especially in the first half when it was still 1-0. First Lewis Mansell and then Matty Platt had their headers denied by Firth, who was alert despite having a quiet game. Firth lost concentration early in the second half as Blackburn substitute Sam Joel had a shot straight at the Liverpool ‘keeper, only for it to slip through his hands and to his relief go wide of the goal.

If the visitors were as lucky as Marsh was for his second goal, then the scoreline would’ve looked much more respectable. They were fortunate that Trent Alexander and Canos couldn’t convert the other chances Liverpool created, as Alexander fired over and Canos straight at Fisher.

Most of this squad will have a break, as they more senior players return for the Liverpool Under 19s in the UEFA Youth League tie with Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Liverpool (4-3-3): Firth; Lewis, Brewitt (Hart 45’), Polgar, Whelan; Arnold, Ejaria (Canos 45’) , Kane; Dhanda (Watts 80’), Nicholas, Marsh.

Unused Substitutes: Waldron, Wheeler.

Twitter: @ScottTaylorUK

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