Liverpool Under 21s 2-3 Fulham Under 21s
Trickett-Smith 5’, Sinclair 67’ Richards 6’, Trotta 54’, 62’
By Scott Taylor
Marcello Trotta was the difference for Fulham as they beat Liverpool U21s 3-2 in an entertaining game at Motspur Park. The young Reds suffered their second successive defeat in the process after losing to Southampton last week. Trotta’s two second half goals and his assist for Fulham’s first were enough for the hosts despite a late Liverpool comeback.
Daniel Trickett-Smith’s strike gave Liverpool the lead, before Fulham’s Tom Richards brought the scores level after latching onto Trotta’s pass. Italy Under 21 international Trotta then gave Fulham the lead with a low strike in the second half. The striker then scored another goal identical to his first to give Fulham breathing space at 3-1 up. Liverpool substitute Jerome Sinclair then got one back in the closing stages to set up a nervy finish, but the Whites held on for the win.
Going into the game, the Reds were a little weak in some areas, missing first team experience in the form of Jordan Rossiter and Jordan Williams. However, they still had dangerous players such as youngsters Ryan Kent and Harry Wilson on the wing, whilst Samed Yesil, who is capped at Under 21 level for Germany, provided the firepower. Creative midfielders Cameron Brannagan and Daniel Trickett-Smith also started and there was a big boost as goalkeeper Ryan Fulton was handed his first start of the season.
Liverpool did almost go ahead in the middle of the first half, but Ryan Kent’s shot was heroically blocked by Jonathan Buata on the Fulham goal-line. Goalscorer Trickett-Smith again came close for Liverpool with his long range free-kick. Samed Yesil then had his header spectacularly saved by Fulham ‘keeper Magnus Norman at close range. The German had another chance to beat Norman, but the shot-stopper was equal to it. Ange-Freddy Plumain then forced Fulton into action with a fine save as a first half littered with Liverpool chances ended 1-1.
Trotta inspired Fulham to come out a completely different side in the second half and the Italians strike in the 54th minute and the 62nd minute gave Fulham a 3-1 lead. That lead was reduced just five minutes later as substitute Jerome Sinclair slotted home after getting on the end of a Harry Wilson pass. Cameron Brannagan almost scored an equaliser in the closing stages but he was denied by the legs of Norman as Fulham held on for a vital win.
Michael Beale was disappointed with the result, but remained pleased with the peformance of his young Reds, he told liverpoolfc.com:
“There are lots of positives to take. Kent is on fire at the moment, Trickett-Smith has trained really well and scored a great goal today and Dan Cleary did very well on his first start at U21 level. We created some great chances and the Fulham goalkeeper made some outstanding saves. We could have had three penalties and it wasn’t to be. We played very well against a very good athletic side and I don’t know how we didn’t take anything out of the game.”
Liverpool U21s team: Fulton, Randall, Maguire, Cleary, Jones (c), Lussey, Wilson, Brannagan, Yesil, Trickett-Smith, Kent.
Fulham U21s team: Norman; Passley, Buatu, Burgess (c), Evans; Na Bangna, Sambou, Della Verde, Richards; Plumain, Trotta.
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