By Scott Taylor
Neil Critchley’s Liverpool Under 21s couldn’t make it two consecutive wins against their Spanish counterparts as they suffered a heavy defeat in Madrid on Tuesday afternoon. Cameron Brannagan made it two goals in as many games against the La Liga sides, and with Barcelona being linked with the starlet, scoring against the Catalan giants is an impressive trait. The creative midfielder levelled proceedings just before the half time whistle as he cut through the Madrid defence and cleverly stabbed a shot past the on-rushing David Oliveros in the Real goal.
The Spanish outfit took the lead early on as Cristian Cedres scored from an impressive free-kick. His 25 yard drive beat the returning Ryan Fulton in goal as it sailed into the corner of the net. Fulton was again being worked shortly after Jean Carlos had an effort on goal that was easily saved by the Scot.
Jerome Sinclair did have a chance to level it, but he couldn’t connect with any real power after receiving a first time ball from Brannagan.
The Reds started the second half brightly as wingers Ryan Kent and Harry Wilson both went close with their respective free-kicks. The Welsh international went close again shortly after, but his strike was palmed away by Oliveros and cleared by Madrid defender Javier Sanchez. Sinclair again had another chance but couldn’t convert as he fired just over the crossbar as Liverpool started to exert pressure. However, on 73 minutes, the Reds rued their missed chances as Real Madrid regained the lead through Liverpool target Jack Harper. Harper, 18, reacted first inside the penalty area and hit a strike that Fulton had no chance with.
Matters went from bad to worse for the Reds moments later as Jordan Rossiter conceded a penalty which Borja Mayoral calmly converted. The Spanish outfit proved too strong for the English counterparts as Jose Lazo cheekily lobbed it over Fulton as the hosts showed their dominance.
For over half of the game, Liverpool Under 19s more than matched their opponents on away soil, but missed chances proved too costly as what the Reds didn’t convert, Madrid did in an entertaining game in Spain
Liverpool XI: Fulton, Whelan (Alexander), Maguire, Cleary, Brewitt, Rossiter, Brannagan, Wilson, Sinclair (Ojo), Kent, O’Hanlon (Canos).
Unused Substitutes: Firth, Marsh, Dhanda, Kane.
For more Academy Updates be sure to follow Scott on Twitter: @ScottTaylorUK