Ryan Kent scored twice as Liverpool Under-21s came from 1-0 down to beat their Merseyside rivals Everton 3-1. Harry Charsley put the Toffees ahead at Goodison Park in the 23rd minute before Kent levelled the scores just three minutes later. The England Under-18 youth international then put the Reds 2-1 up in the 70th minute. Sheyi Ojo rounded off a derby double for Liverpool with a penalty 12 minutes from time after being fouled by Sylvain Distin.
Liverpool started off the better side, with both Connor Randall and Sergi Canos looking dangerous in the final third, but it was the home side that took the lead. Ryan Ledson, who scored Everton’s goal in the 2-1 defeat earlier in the season, cut in from the left wing and delivered a floating cross towards the back post. The ball was met by Charsley, who poked the ball beyond Ryan Fulton.
Three minutes later, Michael Beale’s side were level, mainly thanks to a bit of individual skill from Kent. The winger cut in from the left flank, took it past two Everton defenders and curled an effort into the far corner. There was nothing that Everton goalkeeper Russell Griffiths could do.
On the stroke of half-time, Samed Yesil had a perfect opportunity to put Liverpool in front. Kent surged towards the box, and picked out an unmarked Harry Wilson on the far side. The Wales International then fed it to Yesil, but his close-range strike was straight at Griffiths.
In the 50th minute, Wilson had a chance of his own. After receiving the ball on the left flank, he produced a tidy bit of skill to beat his marker, but dragged his shot across the goalmouth as Liverpool went in search of a second goal.
That second goal arrived 20 minutes later. Kent was given too much space from 25 yards out, and the winger curled his shot past the outstretched Griffiths and in off the far post to put Liverpool in front.
Five minutes later, Liverpool thought they had gone 3-1 up. Second half substitute Jerome Sinclair out-muscled his marker and scored from a tight angle, similar to the strike against Chelsea, but the referee thought he had fouled the Everton defender in the build-up.
However, it was 3-1 in the 78th minute. Ojo received a pass from Kent and the Wigan loanee burst into the penalty area. From there, he cut inside Distin, but the Everton veteran left his leg hanging out and Ojo tripped over it. He then picked himself up and fired past Griffiths to seal Liverpool’s second win over their city rivals in 2015.
Liverpool close the gap on Under-21 Premier League leaders Manchester United to just three points, and with three games left to play, the title race is hotting up in Merseyside.
Liverpool XI: Fulton; Randall, Whelan, Cleary, Maguire; O’Hanlon, Brannagan; Wilson (Trickett-Smith 87′), Kent, Canos (Sinclair 67′); Yesil (Ojo 60′).