By Scott Taylor
Michael Beale’s Liverpool U21s ended their pre-season with a 1-0 defeat to FC Luzern at the Swissporarena on Tuesday evening. Beale fielded a young side with some of his U21 squad departing out on loan, including a debut for summer signing Allan Rodrigues de Sousa. Liverpool were edged out by the Swiss side managed by former player Markus Babbel.
Despite the narrow defeat, Liverpool created plenty of chances to score and hit the goalframe on a few occasions. Firstly Ryan Kent, who has been linked with a loan move to MK Dons, curled an effort beyond the reach of Simon Enzler in the Luzern goal, but it smashed off the crossbar. Shortly after, the hosts took the lead.
After the interval, Jerome Sinclair was unlucky to see his effort hit the inside of both posts before rolling to safety, before Wales International hit the bar from a free-kick. The winger again went close with another free-kick shortly after, but for the second time in the match, his effort hit the top of the goalframe. However, it wasn’t to be for the Reds, who face Chelsea in the opening game of the U21 Premier League season.
After the game, Beale had a lot of individual praise for his side, but also their opponents and told liverpoolfc.com: “Allan was excellent for us and grew into the game in the second 45 minutes, Corey Whelan was superb for us once again in defence and our goalkeeper Ryan Fulton is looking strong, fully fit and back to his best. Wilson, Sinclair and Sergi Canos were excellent for us and we were unlucky not to score and get the equaliser we deserved. Luzern started strongly and were the dominant team in the first-half but we were excellent after the break. Overall it was a fantastic experience playing in a wonderful stadium and I’d like to say a big thank you to Markus and FC Luzern for hosting us.”
Liverpool XI: Fulton; Whelan, Maguire, Allan, Cleary (Randall 45’); Chirivella (O’Hanlon), Dunn (Wilson 45’), Madger Gomes (Hart 45’), Sinclair; Brannagan (Canos 70’), Kent (Yesil 80’).
Luzern XI: Enzler; Hoppler, Schmid, Arnold, Kleiner; Brandenburger, Puljic; Oliveira, Haas, Cirjak; Calic.